\ ə-ˈwȯrd How to pronounce award (audio) \
awarded; awarding; awards

Definition of award

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

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



Definition of award (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that is conferred or bestowed especially on the basis of merit or need a film that has won several awards
2a : a judgment or final decision especially : the decision of arbitrators in a case submitted to them
b : the document containing the decision of arbitrators

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from award


awardable \ -​ˈwȯr-​də-​bəl How to pronounce awardable (audio) \ adjective
awardee \ -​ˌwȯr-​ˈdē How to pronounce awardee (audio) \ noun
awarder \ -​ˈwȯr-​dər How to pronounce awarder (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for award

Synonyms: Verb


Synonyms: Noun

accolade, blue ribbon, decoration, distinction, honor, kudo, plume, premium, prize

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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


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.


Will the film win any awards at the festival? She has won numerous awards for her books.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Oline was awarded the 1999 Sun-Sentinel's Pettijohn Award and the 1999 Ellen Nehr Award for Excellence in Mystery Reviewing by the American Crime Writers League. Oline H. Cogdill,, "Book review: Maine game warden on the hunt in ‘Almost Midnight’," 1 July 2019 Tech Gear Lab awarded it an Editors’ Choice award for its ability to extract about 99.9 percent of lead and chlorine as well as 95 percent of salt. Paige Szmodis, Popular Mechanics, "The 8 Best Water Filters to Purify Your Home’s Water," 28 June 2019 Hussle was posthumously awarded the Humanitarian Award for his community activism and efforts in underprivileged areas. Rosy Cordero,, "BET Awards 2019: See the full list of winners," 24 June 2019 The Polaris Music Prize awards $50,000 to the winner. Karen Bliss, Billboard, "Carly Rae Jepsen, Shawn Mendes & Voivod Make Polaris Music Prize Long List," 20 June 2019 The Chronicle-Telegram reported the same jury awarded Gibson’s business and family members more than $11 million in actual or compensatory damages, bringing the total award to more than $44 million. Fox News, "Oberlin College to pay bakery the now-massive sum of $44M over racism dispute," 14 June 2019 At halftime, game organizers awarded the 28th annual John Wooden-MCL All-Star Citizenship Award. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Maddie Nolan lost basketball, found herself," 12 June 2019 The First Judicial District awarded its ninth annual Amicus Curiae Award to Bridget McCauley Nason and the Dakota County Bar Association. Pioneer Press, Twin Cities, "Business People: Sunday, June 9," 9 June 2019 The organization was recently awarded the 2019 HFMA MAP Award for High Performance in Revenue Cycle, placing Ensemble’s level of performance among just 20 hospitals out of 6,210 in the country. Jessica Levy,, "Ensemble to create 1100 new jobs in Cincinnati by 2020," 7 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Sasser also created the Sidebar Series, an award-winning program to support and further educate young lawyers. Laurel Weibezahn,, "Palm Beach County’s first Asian-American judge dies of cancer," 8 July 2019 The Tony award-winning creator of the hit musical Annie died over the holiday weekend after suffering a heart attack, his daughter revealed. Ale Russian,, "Martin Charnin, the Tony Award-Winning Creator of Annie, Dies at 84," 8 July 2019 Only three out of the 475 entries in that category received awards. Daily Pilot Staff,, "Biz News: Huntington Beach-based Rocket Lab completes another launch," 3 July 2019 The award-winning performers are perhaps best known to audiences as the original Jamie and Cathy in the Off Broadway production (and corresponding cast recording) of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Norbert Leo Butz and Sherie Rene Scott on mining their 23-year friendship for new show," 3 July 2019 Tastings of the award-winning wines run three for $5 or seven for $10. Allyson Reedy, The Know, "Your ultimate Palisade wine tour: How to bike to 7 wineries in one day," 2 July 2019 Back to Nature Garden, designed by The Duchess and award-winning landscape architects Andrée Davies and Adam White of Davies White Landscape Architects, is a woodland setting for families and communities to come together and connect with nature. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton's $130 & Other Stories Dress Is Back in Stock," 30 June 2019 Bellavia, who left the Army in 2005, had previously received the high awards of the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for his services in action. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Belated award for possible GOP candidate questioned," 29 June 2019 The Broadway production at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre was the hit of the season, receiving seven Tony awards. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: 35 years ago ‘Big River’ started flowing in La Jolla," 25 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'award.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of award


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


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

History and Etymology for award

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about award

Dictionary Entries near award





award clerk



Statistics for award

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for award

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for award



English Language Learners Definition of award

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to give (a reward or prize) to someone or something
: to officially decide that someone should get (something)



English Language Learners Definition of award (Entry 2 of 2)

: something (such as a prize) that is given to someone or something for being excellent or for doing something that is admired


\ ə-ˈwȯrd How to pronounce award (audio) \
awarded; awarding

Kids Definition of award

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to give as deserved or needed award a medal award a scholarship
2 : to give by official decision award a contract



Kids Definition of award (Entry 2 of 2)

: something (as a prize) that is given in recognition of good work or a good act

Legal Definition of award

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



Legal Definition of award (Entry 2 of 2)

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

History and Etymology for award

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on award

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for award

Spanish Central: Translation of award

Nglish: Translation of award for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of award for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about award

Comments on award

What made you want to look up award? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!