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

We're left in awe of the photographs—and the rocket itself. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Now witness the firepower of this fully operational Falcon 9 rocket," 23 July 2018 Knowing Honnold will be okay doesn’t make this documentary any less awe-inspiring, or nerve-wracking. Noel Murray, The Verge, "The 10 best documentaries of 2018," 18 Dec. 2018 Night skies, unpolluted by light, offer an awe-inspiring panorama of stars. Albion Land, WSJ, "If You’re Thinking About Retiring in Spain," 20 Nov. 2018 Briggs has spent more than two decades planning trips to Africa, and her latest focus is lesser-known but awe-inspiring places like Cameroon, the Central African Republic, and Zambia. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "2018 Top Travel Specialists We Trust," 19 Oct. 2018 The awe-inspiring nails aren't the only part of Rihanna's beauty look from the Garage spread worthy of obsession. Zoe Weiner, Allure, "Behold: Rihanna's Super-Long Gold Nails on the Cover of Garage Magazine," 5 Sep. 2018 Feel the awe of history in the Buddhist cave temples of Dambulla There are about 80 caves in this first century B.C. complex that was once inhabited by monks and hermits. Hanya Yanagihara, Condé Nast Traveler, "50 Things to Do in Asia Before You Die," 24 Sep. 2018 Eventually the rapper scaled the wall to the awe of the crowd. Vogue, "The Most Memorable MTV VMA Sets in Recent History," 17 Aug. 2018 Apparently, that algorithm did not take into account the true awe of nature’s mighty power. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Really? Hoover Dam is the 4th best travel experience in America?," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Cousins won’t be awed by CenturyLink if last year is any indication — recall his late game-winning drive for Washington a year ago. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "A game-by-game breakdown of the Seattle Seahawks’ 2018 schedule," 3 Sep. 2018 In episode 3, Ash catches a Caterpie, a purring caterpillar Pokémon who has a conversation with Pikachu while the pair stargaze, existentially awed by the vastness of the universe. Devon Maloney, The Verge, "Today’s weird kids’ YouTube channels have nothing on the first season of Pokémon," 8 Sep. 2018 Peer said, describing a recent gathering where the couple’s friends were awed by the sight of does grazing at the pond. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "Tiny JoCo town is booming. That's not good for everyone. | The Kansas City Star," 26 Apr. 2018 Kids expect the fest to be a space where they're awed by immersive escapism. Gerrick D. Kennedy, latimes.com, "Experiential events, posh yurts and uber-VIP — will Coachella stand for anything more than its escapism this year?," 12 Apr. 2018 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

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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Learn More about awe

Dictionary Entries near awe

away strip

a way to go

awd

awe

awearied

aweary

aweather

Statistics for awe

Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

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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