ku·​dos ˈkü-ˌdäs How to pronounce kudos (audio)
: praise given for achievement
: fame and renown resulting from an act or achievement : prestige

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Deriving from Greek, kudos entered English as slang popular at British universities in the 19th century. In its earliest use, the word referred to the prestige or renown that one gained by having accomplished something noteworthy. The sense meaning "praise given for achievement" came about in the 1920s. As this later sense became the predominant one, some English speakers, unaware of the word's Greek origin, began to treat the word as a plural count noun, inevitably coming up with the back-formation kudo to refer to a single instance of praise. For the same reason, when kudos is used as a subject you may see it with either a singular or plural verb.

Examples of kudos in a Sentence

Kudos to everyone who helped. The company has earned kudos for responding so quickly to customers' concerns.
Recent Examples on the Web Greenwald, who was introduced with Bronx flair by Cardi B, also brought an aw-shucks attitude in accepting the kudos. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 5 Feb. 2023 Star Jonathan Majors is getting widespread kudos for his breakout performance. David Bloom, Forbes, 23 Jan. 2023 While the bikes look exotic (kudos to the styling team), they are priced and designed for India - so far. Bill Roberson, Forbes, 27 Jan. 2023 For those going the vintage route, kudos to any guest who turns up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in an archival Balmain frock dating between 1955 and 1958—the period when Lagerfeld served as Pierre Balmain’s assistant. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, 18 Jan. 2023 Stewart is dressed for gardening in a green jumpsuit and straw hat (kudos on the sun protection, Martha!). Kara Nesvig, Allure, 6 Jan. 2023 So kudos to Brandon Flowers for trying to find a novel way in with this 2008 number. Chris Willman, Variety, 24 Dec. 2022 Additional kudos as the pair became the first openly non-binary and trans artists to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 14 Dec. 2022 So kudos to community advocates who knocked on doors and brought more folks to the table. Dallas News, 21 Oct. 2022

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

Word History


Greek kydos

First Known Use

1831, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of kudos was in 1831

Dictionary Entries Near kudos

Cite this Entry

“Kudos.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kudos. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

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