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
\ ˈȯ How to pronounce awe (audio) \
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.

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Those elements, combined with an awe-inspiring roster of dark-skinned black models, included a closing look worn by Naomi Campbell, which evoked tears from the audience and was met with industry-wide praise. Scarlett Newman, Teen Vogue, "Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli on the Importance of Having a Voice in Fashion," 2 Apr. 2019 Her awe-inspiring diamond necklace is from Tiffany, and underneath her dress, Gaga was wearing ultra-high stiletto platforms by Giuseppe Zanotti. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lady Gaga Dyed Her Hair Blue for the Golden Globes," 7 Jan. 2019 As awe-inducing as some of the most extravagant experiences are—a private tour of Coco Chanel’s apartment, attending the Royal Ascot with the royal family—smaller-scale efforts make up the DNA of the SaksFirst Limitless program. Diana Nguyen, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Woman Behind New York’s Most Glamorous Closets," 22 Mar. 2019 These structures were not necessarily as awe-inspiring as the Carnac stones or Stonehenge, like the Dolmen de Axeitos of northern Spain. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Stonehenge Might Have Its Roots With Ancient Sailors From France," 12 Feb. 2019 Firefighters in Minnesota were in awe on Tuesday when an eagle — the ultimate symbol of American patriotism — perched on a 9/11 memorial. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Eagle perches on Minnesota 9/11 flag display: See the photo," 11 Sep. 2018 The views were scenic and the dam was awe inspiring. Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "Xavier takeaways: Looking back on one of the best-ever Musketeer regular seasons," 4 Mar. 2018 Seeing a 7,000-year-old site that is so well preserved in the Gulf of Mexico is awe inspiring. Hannah Morse, miamiherald, "Archaeologists make a 7,000-year-old discovery in the Gulf of Mexico," 28 Feb. 2018 Standing here now and observing this massive transformation is awe inspiring. Cameron Bird, Vogue, "John Legend Brings Hollywood to Heaven at Art of Elysium's 11th Annual Gala," 7 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Elusive First Lady Melania Trump appeared either shocked, awed, confused, horrified, or some combination of all of the above in a video of her and President Trump meeting Russian president Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Um, What Is Going on With Melania Trump in This Video?," 18 July 2018 At every stop, we were awed by the scenery, from the astonishing palette of earthy hues to the stone shapes etching land and sky. Beth J. Harpaz, chicagotribune.com, "Badlands and history in Theodore Roosevelt National Park," 5 July 2018 Other rulers before him deployed oracles, omens and even impersonations of gods to awe their subjects into obedience. James Romm, WSJ, "‘Soldier, Priest, and God’ Review: The Emperor Divine," 13 Dec. 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about awe

Dictionary Entries near awe

away strip

a way to go

awd

awe

awearied

aweary

aweather

Statistics for awe

Last Updated

24 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for awe

The first known use of awe was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up awe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

something valued as if it were money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!