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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
The Quincy native had been married for just six months, and was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart. Ben Volin,, 9 Sep. 2023 The ceremony, which ultimately awarded the Mercury Prize to London group Ezra Collective, featured numerous live performances from the nominees. Emily Zemler, Rolling Stone, 8 Sep. 2023 In court documents, the university also clarified that race won’t be a factor in calculating or awarding financial aid. Zachary Schermele, USA TODAY, 8 Sep. 2023 Another 13 independent films were also awarded credits ranging from $646,000 to $2.5 million. Gene Maddaus, Variety, 8 Sep. 2023 The following year, Quantum Telecommunications was awarded five neighborhood grants from the state for broadband expansion in Hampstead and Westminster. Sherry Greenfield, Baltimore Sun, 8 Sep. 2023 During a service May 28, Gareau referenced the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence being awarded the Community Hero Award by the Los Angeles Dodgers for service to the LGBTQ community. Molly Walsh |, cleveland, 8 Sep. 2023 That slate was eventually transmitted to Congress and the National Archives as if Trump had won, although the state's electoral votes were awarded to Biden. Arpan Lobo, Detroit Free Press, 7 Sep. 2023 According to defense industry reports, the Navy doesn’t expect to award the first LCM contract until fiscal year 2025. Lawrence Specker |, al, 7 Sep. 2023
When the war was done, Morgan bid adieu to Hollywood and returned to France, winning Cannes’ first Best Actress award in 1946. Matt Thompson, Spin, 10 Sep. 2023 The young star of the film, Seydou Sarr, won the award for best emerging actor or actress. Reuters, NBC News, 9 Sep. 2023 Nevertheless, Egoyan did go on to earn the best Canadian feature film prize at the closing awards luncheon at TIFF that year, and on a whim gave the $25,000 check that came with his trophy to John Pozer, a filmmaker who’d come in second place with The Grocer’s Wife. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Sep. 2023 The Spike Lee film scored a number of award nominations and nabbed several major wins, including the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Zoey Lyttle, Peoplemag, 9 Sep. 2023 Editor-in-chief Nina Garcia accepted the award in front of an audience of celebrities, fellow honorees, fashion industry insiders, and cultural tastemakers including Sarah Jessica Parker, Emily Ratajkowski, Pamela Anderson, Winnie Harlow, Martha Stewart, Stephen Gan, Ziwe, and many more., ELLE, 9 Sep. 2023 This awards season is bringing out even more colorful contenders. Gregg Goldstein, Variety, 8 Sep. 2023 The award is given to a player who best represents the game of baseball on and off the field through their positive contributions which includes sportsmanship and community involvement. Julian McWilliams,, 8 Sep. 2023 On his way to the AL Reliever of the Year award last year, Clase saved 42 games and looked unhittable at times. Joe Noga, cleveland, 8 Sep. 2023 See More

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 21 Sep. 2023.

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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