awe·​some | \ˈȯ-səm \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from awesome

awesomely adverb
awesomeness noun

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

This loop of a storm over Memphis, though, is universally awesome. Greg Porter, Washington Post, "This mesmerizing storm makes it look like a bomb went off over Memphis last night," 13 July 2018 Amazon is continuing its week of pre-Prime Day sales with a killer deal on an awesome car charger. Alexandria Haslam, PCWorld, "Put Alexa in your car with this awesome Prime sale on Anker's Roav VIVA 2-port USB charger," 11 July 2018 Sounds like awesome news for us music lovers, right? John Kehe, The Christian Science Monitor, "How streaming is saving the music business," 3 July 2018 Much like awesome once served a greater purpose, the exclamation point has been downgraded from a shout of alarm or intensity to a symbol that indicates politeness and friendliness. Julie Beck, The Atlantic, "Exclamation Point Inflation," 27 June 2018 Another awesome thing: There's a little fork attached to the jar of Ortiz anchovies. Alex Delany, Bon Appetit, "The Best Anchovies Don't Come in a Tin, People," 25 June 2018 Darren put together this awesome festival called Elsie Fest. Théoden Janes, charlotteobserver, "Lea Michele, freshly engaged, opens up about the other main man in her life right now," 18 June 2018 Shout out Tumi for being so expensive, but so awesome. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "What’s in your bag, Krewella?," 15 June 2018 Here's what happened Sunday: Horford was awesome with 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting and six assists. Joe Vardon,, "Key question facing Cavaliers: Start Tristan Thompson to neutralize Al Horford, or try making more 3s?," 14 May 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of awesome

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for awesome

see awe entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about awesome

Statistics for awesome

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for awesome

The first known use of awesome was in 1598

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


a trusted follower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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