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 So in lieu of the real High Point Market, let this virtual survey be your one-stop shop for the season’s awe-inspiring new introductions from some of ’s favorite brands. ELLE Decor, "The Season’s Best of American Design," 24 Apr. 2020 Last week’s suggestions included the Phoebe Waller Bridge-produced Killing Eve season 3 and Run, Netflix’s Unorthodox, and Céline Sciamma’s awe-inspiring film, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, among others. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "There’s Something Crucial Missing From Dakota Johnson’s Quarantine Watchlist," 17 Apr. 2020 Founded in 1845, Scientific American provides expert insights on the most important and awe-inspiring advances in science and technology. Scientific American, "Scientific American Digital & Full Archive," 15 Apr. 2020 From this perspective, Wiles’ awe-inspiring proof solved just a minuscule piece of a much larger puzzle. Quanta Magazine, "‘Amazing’ Math Bridge Extended Beyond Fermat’s Last Theorem," 6 Apr. 2020 The support of my colleagues has been particularly helpful—awe-inspiring, in fact. Rachel King, Fortune, "The Coronavirus Economy: The commercial art world’s adjustment to a digital reality," 6 Apr. 2020 Cirque du Soleil The awe-inspiring circus company Cirque du Soleil is streaming exclusive footage every Friday on its new platform CirqueConnect. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "The best ballet and dance performances to stream during quarantine," 4 Apr. 2020 As Thornquist knew, this was no escaped poultry but a pileated woodpecker, a wild, awe-inspiring species not commonly seen in Milwaukee County. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: The sighting of a 'ghost bird' along the Milwaukee River is a double treat," 12 Feb. 2020 Bostwick, who coached Simmons for the scant few weeks of his college track career, watched in awe, too. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Why potential Detroit Lions pick Isaiah Simmons is best athlete in NFL draft," 22 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb If you were awed by the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels' flight demonstration earlier last week, this flight of vintage warplanes will be another high-flying spectacle. Alison Medley, Houston Chronicle, "Don't miss today's flyover! Here's the path, timeline to see Warbirds on Sunday," 10 May 2020 Most people who worked with Mr. Douglas were either awed by his self-confident intensity or put off by it. Robert Berkvist, New York Times, "Kirk Douglas: Last of Hollywood’s Golden Age," 12 Feb. 2020 Rita Ross told Billboard that after all these years she's still awed by her older sister's accomplishments but still views her as just part of the family. Gary Graff, Billboard, "Motown Museum Celebrates Diana Ross' 75th Birthday With Family and Friends," 27 Mar. 2019 Americans were supposed to be awed that the euro gained ground on the dollar. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "The Cult of West-Shaming," 30 Jan. 2020 The eloquence and learning of her professors and fellow students awed and humbled my mother. Longreads, "Jersey Girl," 2 Jan. 2020 What did Billy Porter shock and awe us with this time? Eliza Huber, refinery29.com, "The Golden Globes Red Carpet Is One Fashion Moment After Another," 6 Jan. 2020 To a great extent there is great value in her sour face, still capable of awing me. Diane Williams, Harper's magazine, "Five Stories," 28 Oct. 2019 Koonce, a native of England, is awed by Alaska's natural beauty, and that plays a role in what drew her to the Iditarod. Mark Thiessen, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Straw drop’ volunteer event is a signal the Iditarod is near," 14 Feb. 2020

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

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Verb

1597, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for awe

Noun

Middle English aw, awe, ahe "terror, dread, extreme reverence, veneration, something to be feared, danger," borrowed from Old Norse agi, accusative aga "terror, uproar," n-stem derivative from a Germanic base *ag- seen in the s-stem noun *agaz (whence Old English ege "fear, terror" [with assimilation to i-stems], Gothic agis) and a verbal derivative *agisōjan- (whence Old High German egisōn "to fear," Middle Dutch eisen) and a corresponding noun derivative *agisan- (whence Old English egesa, egsa "fear, terror," Old Saxon egiso, Old High German agiso, egiso); Germanic *agaz perhaps going back to Indo-European *h2egh-os, whence also Greek áchos "pain, distress"

Note: Germanic also has a verb *agan-, exemplified by the Gothic Class VI preterite-present ogan "to fear" (from a presumed reduplicated perfect) and the adjective unagands "fearless"; the verb has been compared with Old Irish adˑágadar "(s/he) frightens," and (despite the semantic gap) Greek áchnymai, achnýnai "to grieve, lament." See also etymology and note at ail entry 1.

Verb

Middle English awen "to terrify, overawe," derivative of awe "terror, awe entry 1"

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Time Traveler for awe

Time Traveler

The first known use of awe was in the 12th century

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Statistics for awe

Last Updated

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Awe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/awe. Accessed 3 Jun. 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

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