1 of 2


awarded; awarding; awards

transitive verb

: to confer or bestow as being deserved or merited or needed
award scholarships to disadvantaged students
: to give by judicial decree or after careful consideration
The jury awarded damages to the defendant.
award a contract
awardable adjective
awardee noun
awarder noun


2 of 2


: something that is conferred or bestowed especially on the basis of merit or need
a film that has won several awards
: a judgment or final decision
especially : the decision of arbitrators in a case submitted to them
: the document containing the decision of arbitrators
Choose the Right Synonym for award

grant, concede, vouchsafe, accord, award mean to give as a favor or a right.

grant implies giving to a claimant or petitioner something that could be withheld.

granted them a new hearing

concede implies yielding something reluctantly in response to a rightful or compelling claim.

even her critics concede she can be charming

vouchsafe implies granting something as a courtesy or an act of gracious condescension.

vouchsafed the secret to only a few chosen disciples

accord implies giving to another what is due or proper.

accorded all the honors befitting a head of state

award implies giving what is deserved or merited usually after a careful weighing of pertinent factors.

awarded the company a huge defense contract

Examples of award in a Sentence

Verb The judges will award a prize to the best speaker. The winner was awarded a gold medal. A prize will be awarded to the student who sells the most tickets. The jury awarded damages to the defendant. The company is awarding the contract to the lowest bidder. He was awarded a patent for his invention. Noun Will the film win any awards at the festival? She has won numerous awards for her books.
Recent Examples on the Web
Recently awarded at Karlovy Vary Film Festival’s industry section, Eastern Promises, the Slovak-Czech co-production sees Andrej, who is 20, secretly in love with Miša, living with his grandma, and having the problem of climbing high trees when drunk. Marta Balaga, Variety, 5 July 2024 The Missing won Best Film at the festival and Dolly was awarded Best Supporting Actress and a special NETPAC award for her performance. Valerie Complex, Deadline, 5 July 2024
Her performances have earned her widespread recognition and numerous award nominations, including two Golden Globe nominations — one for best actress in 2021 and best supporting actress in 2023. Maddie Garfinkle, Peoplemag, 7 July 2024 One of the gang leaders present would later become one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives with a $2 million award for information leading to his arrest in connection with the kidnapping of 17 missionaries, all but one of them U.S. citizens, court records show. Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, 7 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for award 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'award.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Verb and Noun

Middle English, to decide, from Anglo-French awarder, agarder to look at, examine, resolve, from a- (from Latin ad-) + warder, garder to look after, guard — more at guard

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Time Traveler
The first known use of award was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near award

Cite this Entry

“Award.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
: to give by court decision (as after a lawsuit)
award damages
: to give or grant as a reward
award a prize to the best speaker


2 of 2 noun
: something (as a prize) that is awarded

Legal Definition


1 of 2 transitive verb
: to give in accordance with a judicial or administrative determination or decision
award punitive damages
: to grant as deserved
awarded the contract to the lowest bidder


2 of 2 noun
: a judgment or final decision: as
: a formal decision regarding benefits in a workers' compensation claim
: something granted especially on the basis of merit or entitlement: as
: a contract won by a successful bidder
: relief usually in the form of money (as damages or alimony) granted to a party in a legal proceeding

Transitive verb

Anglo-French awarder, agarder to look at, decide on, impose, alteration of Old French esguarder to look at, from es-, intensive prefix + guarder to guard

More from Merriam-Webster on award

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