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
a : dread, terror
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 Meanwhile, the other comics and myself were in tears and in awe of one of the funniest humans ever. Jolie Lash, EW.com, 14 Sep. 2021 Like many players of his era, Stokes was in awe of Bryant during and even after his playing days. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 14 Sep. 2021 As a young girl growing up in Maryland, Danielle Williams-Eke found herself in awe of the way the Black women in her life always dressed in their best and most fierce fashions. Samantha Callender, Essence, 2 Sep. 2021 Those who have been inside the 26-story skyscraper at 111 Westminster St. probably weren’t in awe of the facility, either. BostonGlobe.com, 24 Aug. 2021 Many of the reality star's fans are in awe of Kourt's new hair that falls slightly below her jawline. Sara Miranda, Allure, 16 Aug. 2021 Several of O'Donnell's followers responded to the post in awe of how fast the comedian's kids are growing up. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, 12 Aug. 2021 Kempton stands in awe of the women’s talent, ambition, and successes and presents their stories with a whole lot of heart. Olive Fellows, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 Aug. 2021 One of Clarium’s largest investors concluded that the fund was a kind of Thiel cult, staffed by young intellectuals who were in awe of their boss and imitated his politics, his chess playing, his aversion to TV and sports. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 11 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There was horror at the scale -- there was horror at the scale of destruction, and awe at the bravery and kindness that rose to meet it. CNN, 11 Sep. 2021 This vibrant city is home to awe-inspiring architecture, urban beaches along Lake Michigan, and a bustling food scene. Giovanna Caravetta, Travel + Leisure, 30 July 2021 With a designer name akin to Marc by Marc Jacobs, Empress by Boon is not a modest restaurant: Every inch of it is engineered to awe you, from the turquoise glazed tiles to the dramatic floral arrangements. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 Aug. 2021 Despite the mostly empty stadiums -- spectators were banned -- athletes from around the world have still been able to awe us, and with the beautiful scenery of Japan as backdrop. Lilit Marcus, CNN, 7 Aug. 2021 Alo staff is knowledgeable and attentive to guests' needs, and food is developed to perfection creating a symphony of flavors that awe your taste buds from start to finish. Kimberly Lyn, Travel + Leisure, 5 Aug. 2021 After the experiences of 2020, of isolation and immobilization — the flight, falling, and awe inspiring dynamism of this piece was so liberating. BostonGlobe.com, 22 July 2021 Smaller coronal mass ejections create the kinds of vibrant auroras that awe people in the far Northern and Southern hemispheres as the mass of particles ejected from the sun trigger reactions in Earth’s upper atmosphere. Washington Post, 19 July 2021 Teammates awe at the ease with which Mancini can drive the ball out to right-center field. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, 29 June 2021

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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Learn More About awe

Time Traveler for awe

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near awe

awd

awe

awearied

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Statistics for awe

Last Updated

17 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Awe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/awe. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on awe

Nglish: Translation of awe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of awe for Arabic Speakers

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