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

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 MacNicol adopts a tone of affectionate awe when writing about the important women in her life, the friends whose lives have intertwined with hers from her early days in the city as a 20-something waitress. Joanna Scutts, chicagotribune.com, "Childless, single, 40: Why is it a problem?," 12 July 2018 Amber Mak's Chicago Shakespeare directing debut uses imaginative staging, set design, and choreography to bring the book to life, inspiring wide-eyed awe from most junior audience members. Marissa Oberlander, Chicago Reader, "Chicago Shakespeare’s Peter Pan is a soaring delight for both kids and adults," 11 July 2018 The veteran band’s appearance at Middle of the Map is certain to inspire blissful nostalgia among older attendees and awe in people too young to have experienced the band’s old-school attack decades earlier. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "Break out your flannel: Built to Spill will thrill at Middle of the Map Fest," 28 June 2018 This sort of inflation is a natural linguistic phenomenon that regularly happens to words, like how awesome was once reserved for that which truly struck awe into a quavering heart and is now scarcely more than a verbal thumbs up. Julie Beck, The Atlantic, "Exclamation Point Inflation," 27 June 2018 When Aishamanne showed up at prom in her custom gown (along with gorgeous gold jewelry), her classmates were in total awe. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Aishamanne Williams on Her Prom Dress Featuring Erykah Badu, Angela Davis, and Lauryn Hill," 17 June 2018 The Venus de Milo, an ancient Greek statue of the goddess Aphrodite, has long been held up as a standard of awe-inducing beauty. Cady Lang, Time, "Art History Experts Explain the Meaning of the Art in Beyoncé and Jay Z's 'Apesh-t' Video," 16 June 2018 Helping fill in the gap are other folks, including a curator at the Victoria & Albert museum who treats some of Westwood's designs with a reverence bordering on awe. Kenneth Turan, latimes.com, "Vivienne Westwood rules over the engaging documentary 'Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist'," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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

23 Oct 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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