awe

noun
\ ˈȯ \

Definition of awe 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime stood in awe of the king regard nature's wonders with awe

2 archaic

a : dread, terror

b : the power to inspire dread

awe

verb
\ ˈȯ \
awed; awing

Definition of awe (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to inspire or fill with awe We were awed by the beauty of the mountains.

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Examples of awe in a Sentence

Noun

Clem gasped in awe. Inches from the shelf stood a column of scrimshaw the likes of which he'd never seen. —Al Michaud, Fantasy & Science Fiction, March 2005 I expected to be impressed by Machu Picchu, but now that we're here, standing in the clouds atop the world, I'm more than impressed—I'm in awe. Machu Picchu is actually better than photographs suggest, more a timeless way station than archaeological ruin. —Patrick J. Kelly, Traveler, May/June 2005 Organs began to appear in American churches early in the eighteenth century. Their glorious tones promised to harmonize cacophonous congregational singers and to inspire worshippers with a reverential sense of awe, bestirring them to moral improvement. —Jonathan D. Sarna, American Judaism, 2004 It was a sight that filled me with awe and reverence. a person who inspires feelings of awe in others

Verb

We stood at an impasse. If she thought she was getting my bags, she was nuts. I was still awed that they had actually made it through baggage claim in one piece; there was no way I was parting with them now. —Helene Cooper, The House At Sugar Beach, 2008 Most relative neophytes are so awed by having been accepted into the priesthood of specialty medicine and so reluctant to cause themselves trouble in the institutions in which they will work for the coming decades that they would be hesitant to risk offending their seniors. —Sherwin B. Nuland, New York Review of Books, 18 July 2002 But even non-birders cannot help but be awed by the significance of the habitat. All around us creatures dart and dive; birds attracted by fish and water, birds drawn by seeds and chaff. Birds with silly names: loons, boobies, cuckoos, goatsuckers. —Clara Jeffery, Harper's, November 2002 Her style both awes and perplexes me.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Recap: My opponents are fielding squads packed with shock-and-awe showboaters. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, "Critics’ pick their favorite fast food in San Antonio," 18 June 2018 What that speaks to is a kind of shock-and-awe explosiveness potential that can never be counted out in any game, regardless of circumstances. Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "Takeaways: FC Cincinnati storms to 3-0 win at Ottawa Fury," 29 Apr. 2018 Yet the true shock-and-awe moment was in Dreamgirls—the curtains behind the Dreamettes and their show-stopping numbers both glittered with hundreds of crystals. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "From Moulin Rouge! to the Oscars: The Long History of Swarovski in Hollywood," 2 Mar. 2018 Whilst the Reds were always expected to win the match, Fabinho put in a very confident performance, leaving fans in awe of their new midfield maestro. SI.com, "Liverpool Fans Rave Over 'Classy' New Signing After Performance in Pre-Season Friendly," 11 July 2018 What isn’t possible, however, is failing to be completely in awe of her beauty. Annabel Davidson, A-LIST, "Purple Reign: Ella Purnell in Vanity Fair On Jewellery," 5 July 2018 Westworld was still able to get away wit broad clichés, like the defeated samurai committing seppuku and the awe-inspiring sight of Mount Fuji, because the idea is that this whole plotline was cooked up by Lee Sizemore, hack supreme. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Westworld: From Cradle to Grave," 28 May 2018 Translating the limitless potential of comic book pages — comparatively free of the restrictions, budgetary and otherwise, that can hamper action filmmaking — into something awe-inspiring onscreen is a lot easier said than done. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Deadpool 2 might be the most entertaining superhero movie of the year," 15 May 2018 The seventh inning produced two runs, the last after Marwin Gonzalez's bloop, bases-loaded single against Justin Anderson, the Houston native who, just yesterday, was in awe of making his Major League debut against his hometown team. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Angels hand Astros second straight loss," 25 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After winning the Pulitzer Prize in 2001, he was awed by the celebration from his heroes in photojournalism. David Fishcher, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Alan Diaz, AP photographer behind Elian image, dies at 71," 4 July 2018 But by the end of the game, the spindly point guard with the knee-high socks and forest green jersey awed them. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Trae Young loves to prove doubters wrong," 19 June 2018 The intrigue derived from the velocity, at least initially, but as Royals scouts further studied Kyle Zimmer in 2012, they were awed by the full repertoire. Sam Mcdowell, kansascity, "Kyle Zimmer had such promise. But the Royals' patience has run out | The Kansas City Star," 29 Mar. 2018 After winning the Pulitzer Prize in 2001, he was awed by the celebration from his heroes in photojournalism. David Fishcher, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Alan Diaz, AP photographer behind Elian image, dies at 71," 4 July 2018 Shooting a moving target, my father taught me, required anticipation, and his muscular pursuit of the clay birds soaring toward the creek possessed a precision and grace that awed me. Liz Arnold, Longreads, "Making Peace with the Site of a Suicide," 11 July 2018 After winning the Pulitzer Prize in 2001, he was awed by the celebration from his heroes in photojournalism. David Fishcher, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Alan Diaz, AP photographer behind Elian image, dies at 71," 4 July 2018 This tiny shop offers a glimpse into a rare and usual art, awing visitors with its beautiful string instruments on display. Michelle Newman, San Antonio Express-News, "New Braunfels: Your guide to shopping, dining and hotels," 11 June 2018 Even seasoned crew members were awed by Cumberbatch's hotel tour de force, Jackson says. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "Forget Doctor Strange: Benedict Cumberbatch on his dream role, messed-up 'Patrick Melrose'," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'awe.' 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 awe

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1597, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for awe

Noun

Middle English, from Old Norse agi; akin to Old English ege awe, Greek achos pain

Verb

see awe entry 1

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Learn More about awe

Dictionary Entries near awe

away strip

a way to go

awd

awe

awearied

aweary

aweather

Statistics for awe

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for awe

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

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More Definitions for awe

awe

noun

English Language Learners Definition of awe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a strong feeling of fear or respect and also wonder

awe

verb

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

: to fill (someone) with awe

awe

noun
\ ˈȯ \

Kids Definition of awe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a feeling of mixed fear, respect, and wonder

awe

verb
awed; awing

Kids Definition of awe (Entry 2 of 2)

: to fill with respect, fear, and wonder

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Comments on awe

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