\ ə-ˈwȯrd \
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 \ adjective
awardee \ -​ˌwȯr-​ˈdē \ noun
awarder \ -​ˈwȯr-​dər \ 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

Combined, computer and information sciences and engineering accounted for just 9% of the 1.92 million bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2016, according to the Education Department. Melissa Korn, WSJ, "Too Many Jobs, Not Enough Talent Spurs Amazon to Split HQ2," 5 Nov. 2018 Of the five largest jackpots awarded in the U.S., three went to multiple winners. Scott Mcfetridge, The Seattle Times, "Mega Millions, Powerball prizes come down to math, long odds," 23 Oct. 2018 After those 17 reviews, 14 initial referee decisions were reversed (including seven penalty kicks awarded and two withdrawn) and three calls were confirmed. Brian Straus,, "The World Cup of Chaos: Looking Back on a Group Stage for the Ages," 29 June 2018 For any product whose packaging a vendor converts before August 1, 2019, Amazon will share in the cost of that change—and will award the vendor a $1 credit for every unit received to an Amazon fulfillment center. Eleanor Hildebrandt, Popular Mechanics, "Packaging Is Killing Us, and the Holidays Are the Worst," 19 Dec. 2018 Current projections show between 29% and 37% of all delegates who will select the party’s nominee will be awarded by states voting March 3. Reid J. Epstein, WSJ, "California Upends 2020 Democratic Primary Calendar," 17 Dec. 2018 Frazer Harrison/Getty Images The 2019 Golden Globes will be awarded on Sunday, January 6, 2019. Jen Trolio, Vox, "The full list of television and movie nominees for the 2019 Golden Globes," 6 Dec. 2018 The contest will award $1000 in makeup to a single winner. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Milk Makeup Announced an Instagram Giveaway," 30 Nov. 2018 The tournament has a blind draw and begins at 6:30 p.m. Cash prizes will be awarded. Ginger Brashinger, Daily Southtown, "Proud American Days to close out July with food, fun and entertainment," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Their fresh takes on Southern classics like chicken and kale with grits are designed by award-winning chefs and restauranteurs in collaboration with nutritionists. SELF, "The Best Meal-Kit Delivery Services to Try in 2019," 1 Jan. 2019 Founded in 2010, Headspace had dominated the meditation category until this year, when Calm caught up, thanks to a boost from winning the iPhone App of the Year award from Apple’s App Store last December. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: A Russian disinformation campaign used every major social media platform to help elect President Trump," 17 Dec. 2018 Calm got a boost from winning the 2017 iPhone App of the Year award from Apple ’s App Store last December. Hilary Potkewitz, WSJ, "Headspace vs. Calm: The Meditation Battle That’s Anything but Zen," 15 Dec. 2018 She's worn every designer from Fendi to Givenchy (a favorite of Meghan's, who last night presented Clare Waight Keller the British Womenswear of the Year award). Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Queen Rania of Jordan Wore Zara Chiffon Culottes to the Arab Social Media Awards," 11 Dec. 2018 Move over everyone, cause Dylan Sprouse has officially won the boyfriend of the year award. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Dylan Sprouse Brings Shake Shack for GF Barbara Palvin At Victoria's Secret Fashion Show," 3 Dec. 2018 What seems clear is that, even after SpaceX brought some price clarity into the market a decade or more ago, the process of launch-contract awards remains somewhat arcane. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: SpaceX targeted, Chinese rocket scientist goes viral, SLS slips?," 5 Oct. 2018 My Brothers Taught Me as well as The Rider, which was nominated for a number of indie awards. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Marvel gets first woman of color director for The Eternals," 21 Sep. 2018 Advice from her would be any singer's dream, considering the laundry list of awards she's received in the country music world. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "8 Fascinating Things About 'America's Got Talent' Guest Judge Martina McBride," 31 July 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near award





award clerk



Statistics for award

Last Updated

10 Jan 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 \
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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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