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

By then, Juan had experienced the life-changing awe of having children, kicked his addiction and turned into a doting, stay-at-home parent. Nina Shapiro, The Seattle Times, "He’s Mexican. She’s American. Deportation forced this Washington state family to make a choice.," 27 July 2018 From its increasingly difficult obstacle courses to its inspirational contestants to the genuine awe and excitement of announcers Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, nothing on the series feels forced or inauthentic. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "The 10 best sports TV shows of all time (including 'GLOW')," 2 July 2018 The first Jurassic Park nailed that pretty perfectly, awe and menace melding in an exciting kind of cautionary tragedy. Richard Lawson, HWD, "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," 5 June 2018 But a trip anywhere across state lines from mid-September through October practically guarantees awe; so does a car ride; or entry to one of the many fall festivals across the state. Cassie Shortsleeve, Condé Nast Traveler, "See Vermont Fall Foliage in These 12 Beautiful Places," 2 Oct. 2018 Then again, the Royals’ offense has done nothing to inspire awe without him. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Jorge Bonifacio is back from suspension. Can he help Royals' historically bad offense?," 28 June 2018 There can be relief for the Warriors in the affirmation of that fact, but no awe—not when Golden State could have been picked as the 2018 championship favorite as far back as 23 months ago. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Warriors Prove That Third Title in Four Years Was All but a Formality," 9 June 2018 French said the garden will serve as an outdoor learning center for the students and create an awe spectacle when the plants attract butterflies. Frank Vaisvilas, Daily Southtown, "Forest preserve workshop encourages gardeners to go native," 14 Mar. 2018 My awe felt disorienting, tipping from euphoria into sheer panic. Angelica Baker, Vogue, "Going One-on-One with Greatness at Michael Jordan’s Summer Camp," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Children across the spectrum, in more or less segregated schools, were awed by a great story that affirmed blackness. Andrew Grant-thomas And Melissa Giraud, Good Housekeeping, "Parents: Maybe Don't Buy Your Kid That Black Panther Costume This Halloween," 11 Oct. 2018 The king showed himself in all his costly majesty to awe the populace, while lavish entertainments kept them happy. Judith Flanders, WSJ, "‘Behind the Throne’ Review: It Takes a Kingdom," 5 Oct. 2018 These days, the boho clan comes for the art, including the obligatory pilgrimage to Judd's Chinati Foundation, and is summarily awed by the setting. Rima Suqi, ELLE Decor, "How an Abandoned Texas Home Is Restored Into an Ethereal Country Getaway," 20 Sep. 2018 Former jockey Richard Migliore, who retired in 2010 at age 45 and is now a racing analyst, is awed by the level at which Lukas still competes. Don Markus, baltimoresun.com, "Ageless wonder Lukas knows that getting record-tying 7th Preakness win this year is long shot," 15 May 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 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

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

4 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on awe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with awe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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