awe·​some ˈȯ-səm How to pronounce awesome (audio)
: inspiring awe
an awesome task/responsibility
a place of awesome beauty
informal : terrific, extraordinary
had an awesome time at the concert
: expressive of awe
awesome tribute

Did you know?

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.
Recent Examples on the Web If your teen has acne, consider these 6 awesome treatments How to plan the perfect long-distance Valentine’s Day date Newspaper heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped 50 years ago. Hartford Courant, 13 June 2024 On May 22, CEO Jensen Huang added the booster rocket, unveiling Q1 profits of $14.9 billion, a 21% increase over the awesome numbers reported just three months earlier. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 13 June 2024 The Kansas City Zoo is an awesome option for animal-lovers, and if your dad is a thrill-seeker, Worlds of Fun theme park is worth a visit for roller coasters, waterslides and live shows. Allison Palmer, Kansas City Star, 12 June 2024 There have been some awesome inventions in the world of science fiction over the years. Owen Bellwood / Jalopnik, Quartz, 12 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for awesome 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'awesome.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of awesome was in 1578

Dictionary Entries Near awesome

Cite this Entry

“Awesome.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


awe·​some ˈȯ-səm How to pronounce awesome (audio)
: showing awe
: causing a feeling of awe
informal : terrific sense 2, extraordinary
had an awesome time
awesomely adverb
awesomeness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on awesome

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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