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 The stage that has been constructed for the event is also awesome, and all of these artists are so knocked out by it all. Rob Ledonne, Billboard, 20 Aug. 2021 The power of that rage was awesome in the most literal sense. Los Angeles Times, 17 Aug. 2021 To see all those guys get plenty of reps the other night was awesome. Scott Patsko, cleveland, 17 Aug. 2021 And so this idea that there's this massive fight at what would have been on the floor of the lobby with a grand piano and chandeliers and all this stuff, was awesome. Lauren Huff,, 16 Aug. 2021 The big three and Toyota really showed up big for us this year, which is awesome. Sam Fogel, Detroit Free Press, 13 Aug. 2021 So getting her back out with people with similar passions and interests was awesome to see. Aili Nahas,, 12 Aug. 2021 The camera is hidden under the screen this time, which is awesome. Chris Smith, BGR, 11 Aug. 2021 The judges were not there, but the folks that are on the Peacock TV special with me were awesome. oregonlive, 10 Aug. 2021

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

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for awesome

awe entry 1 + -some entry 1

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Learn More About awesome

Time Traveler for awesome

Time Traveler

The first known use of awesome was in 1578

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Dictionary Entries Near awesome




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Statistics for awesome

Last Updated

30 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Awesome.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for awesome



English Language Learners Definition of awesome

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


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on awesome

Nglish: Translation of awesome for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of awesome for Arabic Speakers


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