awe

noun
\ ˈȯ How to pronounce awe (audio) \

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
b : the power to inspire dread

awe

verb
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 But then the plume stopped going up and started rolling out over the cliffs — and her awe turned to fear. Nick Perry, Twin Cities, "Rescuer describes horror of New Zealand’s silent eruption; 16 believed killed," 14 Dec. 2019 But then the plume stopped going up and started rolling out over the cliffs – and her awe turned to fear. Nick Perry, USA TODAY, "It was so silent, she didn't hear it: Rescuer describes horror of New Zealand's eruption," 11 Dec. 2019 Ki-woo just barely manages to keep a lid on his awe the first time the Parks’ formidable housekeeper, Moon-gwang (Lee Jung Eun), ushers him inside. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Thrilling and devastating, ‘Parasite’ is one of the year’s very best movies," 9 Oct. 2019 He was captured staring in awe when Kawhii Leonard made one of the most iconic shots in NBA history, sending the Toronto Raptors to victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Akeem Glaspie, Indianapolis Star, "Former UIndy guard Jordan Loyd wants to be more than 'random guy in a suit'," 2 July 2019 But even Ingels’s harshest detractors (and competitors) can’t look at BIG’s portfolio without some measure of envy or awe. Anne Quito, Quartzy, "Architect Bjarke Ingels is already designing for 130 years in the future," 22 June 2019 The five-foot-something Nataraja idol here is awe-inspiring even in the cold darkness of the sanctum. Harish Pullanoor, Quartz India, "How the Indian icon Nataraja danced his way from ancient history to modern physics," 18 Dec. 2019 The fact that all these distinct parts feel of the same whole in retrospect is awe-inspiring. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Watchmen, not Game of Thrones, proved to be HBO’s show of the decade," 16 Dec. 2019 These awe-inspiring sand dunes are the tallest dunes in North America. Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post, "The Year in Photos 2019: Helen H. Richardson," 11 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That Herman might be awed by Whittingham’s longevity is understandable. Greg Luca, ExpressNews.com, "Texas’ Tom Herman, Utah’s Kyle Whittingham look ahead to Alamo Bowl clash," 12 Dec. 2019 Watching them interact, I was awed by their ferocity. Peter Prengaman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘I’ve got one!’ Hunting neon scorpions in the Arizona desert," 19 Sep. 2019 On opening day, Gartel was awed by the magnitude of the final project. Leora Arnowitz, USA TODAY, "You can now stay in a giant guitar-shaped hotel that you have to see to believe," 25 Oct. 2019 Matthews followed her set and admitted he was awed by sharing the same stage with her. Thom Duffy, Billboard, "Why Bonnie Raitt Returned to Farm Aid: 'It's Activists I'm Singing For -- That's My Job'," 23 Sep. 2019 Crichton and techno-thriller fans will be entertained, if not awed. Don Oldenburg, USA TODAY, "'The Andromeda Evolution' an infectious sequel to Michael Crichton's classic best-seller," 15 Nov. 2019 Lugiati was decidedly awed by his young guest’s skill. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Rare Portrait of Teenage Mozart Heads to Auction," 15 Nov. 2019 Rather than resenting the upstart, the great and the good embraced him, awed by his knowledge of arcane subjects such as finance, dazzled by the bright light of his intellect and by his sparkling prose. The Economist, "A new biography of Walter Bagehot, “the greatest Victorian”," 8 Aug. 2019 As a practicing Catholic, Swain had been awed by Hayhoe’s keynote the day before. Dan Zak, Washington Post, "One of America’s top climate scientists is an evangelical Christian. She’s on a mission to convert skeptics.," 15 July 2019

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 and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for awe

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for awe

Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Awe.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/awe. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for awe

awe

noun
How to pronounce awe (audio)

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 How to pronounce awe (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on awe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for awe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with awe

Spanish Central: Translation of awe

Nglish: Translation of awe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of awe for Arabic Speakers

Comments on awe

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not to be intimidated or subdued

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