\ 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

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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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In 1991, Pietro Belluschi was awarded the National Medal of Arts for his lifetime achievements., "Celebrating architect Pietro Belluschi’s 120th anniversary: You’re invited to walking tours, talks this weekend," 16 Aug. 2019 Shouldn’t there be an Oscar awarded for best stunts? Fortune, "Why Trump’s Trade War Keeps Zapping Tech Stocks—Data Sheet," 14 Aug. 2019 Muratova is the hero of Honeyland, a new documentary that buzzed through the festival circuit, accumulating a rapturous response (most awarded at Sundance, for example) rare for its medium. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Honeyland Is a Stinging Allegory for Man-Made Disaster," 9 Aug. 2019 There are regular years-of-service award ceremonies, along with the Encompass Rewards Program, where employees are awarded points for exemplary performance and conduct. Mike Candelaria,, "Encompass Health: Compassion, care and a ‘line outside the door’," 9 Aug. 2019 The area of dedicated parkland is 0.52 acres more than required by the terms laid out in the 2015 TPWD grant awarded for the park’s construction. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "Broussard Park’s trail system may be installed this year; exercise and play equipment on the way," 9 Aug. 2019 In 1972, while working at Hamilton Standard, Gil was awarded NASA's Silver Snoopy Award for his work on Apollo 11., "Gilbert E. Wishart Sr.," 4 Aug. 2019 Then, there will be 75 more dispensary licenses awarded before May 2020 and another 110 more licenses after Jan. 1, 2021, for a total of nearly 300 licenses. Joseph Bustos,, "Illinois is making it hard — and expensive — to get a license to sell legal marijuana," 27 July 2019 Smith said jurors had also awarded excessive damages for medication that might be covered by insurance. Bob Egelko,, "Alameda County judge reduces $2 billion jury award in Monsanto case to $86.7 million," 25 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The award honors people whose achievements have been recognized nationally and who have made an impact on the U.S. Latino community. Liz Teitz,, "Guillen honored with lifetime achievement award for excellence in journalism," 3 Aug. 2019 Among the first organizations to receive the award was the Cincinnati Bengals, which supported player Devin Still and his daughter, Leah, during Leah's battle with cancer. Mark Curnutte,, "For 15th anniversary, 15 facts about the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center," 2 Aug. 2019 The award honors a sports journalist whose contributions positively impact the narrative of sports as a force for change. Indystar Sports, Indianapolis Star, "IndyStar's Gregg Doyel 1st to win Indiana Sports Corp's Inspiring Sports Storyteller Award," 1 Aug. 2019 But while the award might no longer be a matter of counting up a player's social media following, FIFA's nominees for this year's trophy has a few notable absentees., "FIFA The Best Award: 5 Biggest Omissions From This Year's Men's Player Shortlist," 1 Aug. 2019 The award honors the most outstanding women’s and men’s players of the year in college soccer. Glynn A. Hill, Houston Chronicle, "Rice midfielder Lianne Mananquil named to watch list for outstanding women's player of year," 1 Aug. 2019 The maximum federal Pell Grant award is $6,195 for the July 1 through June 30, 2020 year. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Can 2020 presidential election help you shake off student loan debt?," 25 July 2019 The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to California art. Coastmag, Orange County Register, "Laguna Art Museum gala will celebrate a new century," 25 July 2019 The awards can be just as serious or silly as a subreddit likes. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Reddit now lets subreddits design and hand out their own awards," 24 July 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.

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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

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Learn More about award

Dictionary Entries near award





award clerk



Statistics for award

Last Updated

22 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for award

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

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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

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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).


not constant or steady

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