awesome

adjective
awe·​some | \ ˈȯ-səm How to pronounce awesome (audio) \

Definition of awesome

1a : inspiring awe an awesome task/responsibility a place of awesome beauty
b informal : terrific, extraordinary had an awesome time at the concert
2 : expressive of awe awesome tribute

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Is the Word awesome Overused?

Many object to the use of awesome to describe something (such as a sandwich) that does not literally elicit feelings of awe. Yet the same people who insist that awesome should be used only of weighty subjects (Niagara Falls, man landing on the moon) will happily use the word awful in reference to something (such as a mess) that falls distinctly short of being “full of awe.” This weakened sense was once considered improper – in fact, complaints about it persisted through the early decades of the 20th century.

The change in meaning that awesome is undergoing may be more recent than that of awful, but both words are treading the same path. For evidence that such change is normal, we need look no further than awe, which originally meant “terror” and now carries the weaker sense “wonder.”

Examples of awesome in a Sentence

the awesome sight of an erupting volcano It was an awesome responsibility. We had an awesome task ahead of us. We had an awesome time at the concert. You did an awesome job on that project. The movie was totally awesome.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Seeing how hard these volunteers work and getting to know the volunteers and getting to hear their stories were awesome. James Owczarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Watt brothers talk Culver's, golf in Pewaukee, and sharing time together at AmFam Championship," 21 June 2019 Possibly, Mako is awesome but the theming and other special features is no comparison. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Muggles wait 10 hours, through rain storms, to ride new Hagrid roller coaster at Wizarding World of Harry Potter," 14 June 2019 There’s no shortage of people to help Charlie — a stay-at-home dad — with the awesome and inherently chaotic responsibility of caring for three babies. Kate Thayer, chicagotribune.com, "Finding hope after tragedy: Wife's stroke left dad with newborn triplets a year ago," 12 June 2019 There is no question then that dolphins are awesome and capable and that our adoration of these creatures is merited. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Our love of dolphins is not always good for them," 8 June 2019 What seems awesome and nutritive on the page can seem hollow and unengaging when spoken. Jesse Green, New York Times, "In Chicago’s Vibrant Theater Scene, Two Tales of One City," 7 June 2019 Ariel is awesome and daring with her style, and perfectly shuts down any troll who questions her decisions. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "I'm in Love with Ariel Winter's New 'Little Mermaid'-Inspired Red Hair," 5 May 2019 Being able to watch that with friends, family and my team was awesome. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "College gamble pays off as TCU LHP Nick Lodolo taken seventh overall by Cincinnati Reds," 3 June 2019 Hurry, these awesome deals won’t last long—and neither will these workout clothes. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "The Best 15 Activewear Pieces to Buy at the Nordstrom Spring Sale," 18 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'awesome.' 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 awesome

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for awesome

see awe entry 1

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Statistics for awesome

Last Updated

25 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for awesome

The first known use of awesome was in 1598

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More Definitions for awesome

awesome

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of awesome

: causing feelings of fear and wonder : causing feelings of awe
informal : extremely good

awesome

adjective
awe·​some | \ ˈȯ-səm How to pronounce awesome (audio) \

Kids Definition of awesome

1 : causing a feeling of respect, fear, and wonder an awesome view of the canyon He … tried not to think of the awesome task that lay ahead of him.— Louis Sachar, Holes
2 : extremely good He made an awesome catch.

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More from Merriam-Webster on awesome

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for awesome

Spanish Central: Translation of awesome

Nglish: Translation of awesome for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of awesome for Arabic Speakers

Comments on awesome

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