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 medal (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

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Examples of medal in a Sentence

Noun He was awarded a medal for his heroism. the display case held an impressive array of military medals from World War II Verb She medaled in figure skating in the Olympics.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Woods won a bronze medal at the 2018 UCI Road World Championships. Mia Berry, Detroit Free Press, 24 July 2021 That team eventually won the gold medal, beating Brazil when a 26-year-old Lloyd scored the game’s only goal in extra time. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 July 2021 Guinea has participated in the Olympics 11 times but has never won a medal. Star Tribune, 22 July 2021 Kalmoe won a bronze medal in the quadruple sculls at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Emmett Prosser, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 22 July 2021 Aguirre, 23, won a bronze medal at the 2019 Pan-American Games in taekwondo and had been slated to compete in the 57-kilogram weight class, which starts competition Sunday. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, 21 July 2021 Stancil won a Pan Am Games gold medal in 2015 while attending Marian University. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, 21 July 2021 Collier won a gold medal at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in 3x3. Staff Reports,, 21 July 2021 Set to compete at the upcoming Tokyo Paralympic Games, Breen, who has cerebral palsy, previously won a bronze medal at the 2012 Games in London. Jen Juneau,, 20 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Kiefer, who failed to medal in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, withdrew from medical school earlier this year in order to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics, per USA Today. Maria Pasquini,, 25 July 2021 The hardware haul came a day after the U.S., for the first time in almost half-a-century, failed to medal on the first day of Olympic competition. NBC News, 25 July 2021 Weyant and Flickinger are the first U.S. women to medal at the Tokyo Games. Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, 24 July 2021 Multiple outlets had projected Delacruz to medal behind Zhihui, the favorite for gold. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, 24 July 2021 Mary Tucker, the 20-year-old American who was a favorite to medal in the women’s 10-meter air rifle competition, ended up finishing in sixth. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, 24 July 2021 The United States failed to medal at the Rio de Janeiro Games after it was ousted in the quarterfinals by — yep — Sweden. Mark Heim |, al, 24 July 2021 Hack, who was born in Springfield, Mass., finished fourth in the men’s eight at Rio and will have a chance to medal this time around., 20 July 2021 The former Chicago White Sox minor leaguer could become just the third American to medal at the Winter and Summer Olympics if the U.S. team makes the podium. Colleen Kane,, 19 July 2021

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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Time Traveler for medal

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The first known use of medal was circa 1578

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Dictionary Entries Near medal



medal bronze

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Statistics for medal

Last Updated

26 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Medal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on medal

Nglish: Translation of medal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of medal for Arabic Speakers


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