med·​al | \ ˈme-dᵊl How to pronounce medal (audio) \

Definition of medal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small usually metal object bearing a religious emblem or picture
2 : a piece of metal often resembling a coin and having a stamped design that is issued to commemorate a person or event or awarded for excellence or achievement


medaled also medalled; medaling also medalling\ ˈmed-​liŋ , ˈme-​dᵊl-​iŋ How to pronounce medalling (audio) \

Definition of medal (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to win a medal medaled in figure skating

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Synonyms for medal

Synonyms: Noun

medallion, order

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Examples of medal in a Sentence


He was awarded a medal for his heroism. the display case held an impressive array of military medals from World War II


She medaled in figure skating in the Olympics.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Lee won five gold medals, one silver and one bronze in the Summer Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium. Rana Cash, The Courier-Journal, "From Olympic gold to Super Bowl MVP, Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame's 2019 class shines," 13 June 2019 But El Loco's biggest success with his country came at the 2004 Olympic Games in Greece, securing the gold medal, with his side setting a record for winning every game without conceding a goal throughout the competition., "Marcelo Bielsa: El Loco's Journey From Argentina to Footballing Immortality in Europe," 10 June 2019 Their chests laden with medals, Canadian veterans listened solemnly, overlooking the tall grass and sandy expanse below. Washington Post, "The Latest: French prime minister calls for global peace," 7 June 2019 Larsen was his coach back then and would remain so for the duration of a remarkable career that included an Olympic silver medal, as well as victories at both the NYC and Boston Marathons. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, "The Coach Who Changed Running Forever," 7 June 2019 After the ceremony, Archer's husband Chris Jackson, who happens to be a royal photographer, posted adorable pictures of her wearing her medal while posing with their son. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton's Stylist Natasha Archer Receives an Impressive Royal Honor," 3 May 2019 Competitors vie for gold, silver and bronze medals, more than $150,000 in cash prizes, and — most important to a budding ballerina’s career — company contracts and scholarships. Sarah Bahr, Indianapolis Star, "Carmel teen named a finalist in the International Ballet Competition," 20 June 2018 After the race, runners will receive medals, beer and food. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wauwatosa's Hartfest festival takes a good time and turns it into good works," 14 June 2018 Miller, who lives in Coto de Caza, is the most decorated male U.S. skier with 33 World Cup wins, two overall titles, four world championships and six Olympic medals, including gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games in the super-combined. CBS News, "911 call reveals frantic effort to save Bode Miller's daughter Emeline," 13 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

An avid amature fencer in her youth, Kate medaled in countless events, including the Florida Sunshine State Games., "Deaths in South Florida: 6/7," 7 June 2019 Shiffrin wound up fourth after medaling a day earlier in the giant slalom. Houston Chronicle, "The Latest: Swedish skier wins slalom; no medal for Mikaela Shiffrin," 15 Feb. 2018 Galveston Island Brewing, which medaled at the Great American Beer Festival in October, will be pouring at least four of its beers. Ronnie Crocker, Houston Chronicle, "Tap into the island during beer festival in Galveston," 17 Jan. 2018 Former Tour de Ski champion Sergey Ustiugov from Russia is expected to medal at Pyeongchang, too. USA TODAY, "Bjoergen looks to extend dominance in cross country skiing," 11 Jan. 2018 Bergsma had previously had a deeply disappointing Games, while Bowe had come close to medaling with a fourth and two fifth-place finishes in individual events. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "U.S. women finally win bronze in speedskating team pursuit at 2018 Winter Olympics," 21 Feb. 2018 The Memorial girls medaled in all three relays, highlighted by silver in the medley from the team of Olivia Cone, Yasemin Bayanay, Hannah Kral and Gore. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Memorial girls runner-up at 15-6A swim meet," 24 Jan. 2018 Hosszu won three gold medals in Rio after not medaling during the 2012 London Gamaes. Jenna West,, "Olympic Swimmer Katinka Hosszu and Hubsand-Coach Announce Split," 24 May 2018 Still, Nyjari kept medaling in national races, and her times earned state and national rankings. Katherine Dunn,, "Once a reluctant runner, Franklin's Nyjari McNeil enjoying record-setting career," 25 May 2018

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


circa 1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1979, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for medal


Middle French medaille, from Old Italian medaglia coin worth half a denarius, medal, from Vulgar Latin *medalis half, alteration of Late Latin medialis middle, from Latin medius — more at mid

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Dictionary Entries near medal





medal bronze

medal chief


Statistics for medal

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for medal

The first known use of medal was circa 1578

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More Definitions for medal



English Language Learners Definition of medal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a piece of metal often in the form of a coin with designs and words in honor of a special event, a person, or an achievement



English Language Learners Definition of medal (Entry 2 of 2)

: to win a medal


med·​al | \ ˈme-dᵊl How to pronounce medal (audio) \

Kids Definition of medal

: a piece of metal often in the form of a coin with design and words in honor of a special event, a person, or an achievement

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More from Merriam-Webster on medal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with medal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for medal

Spanish Central: Translation of medal

Nglish: Translation of medal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of medal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on medal

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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