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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for medal

Synonyms: Noun

medallion, order

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As an Australian herself, Daphne was waiting in the Sydney Opera House crowds to catch a glimpse of the prince, while wearing her late husband Albert Chowne’s Second World War medals. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Daphne Dunne, Prince Harry's 99-Year-Old Australian BFF, Has Died," 2 Apr. 2019 Gold-medal gymnast Aly Raisman and many of her 2016 Olympic teammates faced fierce body shaming because of their muscles, something that led Aly to stop wearing tank tops for a while. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "U.S. Soccer's Mallory Pugh on Age, Confidence, and Staying in the Game," 15 Mar. 2019 Even more impressive, the gold medal crew contained just one Olympic veteran—21-year-old Simone Biles—with younger athletes filling the other spots, showcasing the depth of up-and-coming talent on Team USA. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "The USA Women's Gymnastics Team Won Its 4th Straight World Championship—Here's How to Watch the Final Events," 31 Oct. 2018 Image Hans Günter Winkler, a German equestrian who was a dominant force in show jumping for decades, competing at every Olympic Games from 1956 through 1976 and winning seven medals, died on Monday in Warendorf, Germany. Daniel E. Slotnik, New York Times, "Hans Günter Winkler, Olympic Champion Equestrian, Dies at 91," 11 July 2018 Drink More Fizz ranks 100 of them, from English sparklers like the Breaky Bottom Sparkling Brut Seyval Blanc, which won the gold medal at the International Wine Challenge in 2014. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "Beyond Champagne: The Best Fizzy Drinks For New Year’s Eve," 21 Dec. 2018 Created in 1782, the medal is also given to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or who died of their wounds received in action. Erin Sauder, Elgin Courier-News, "Purple Heart recipients invited to picnic being organized by True Patriots Care," 13 July 2018 Harris won the gold medal in the 15-16 age group last year in Detroit, Michigan and set personal-best marks in the high jump, javelin throw, pole vault, 1500-meter run, 400-meter run and hurdles. Alex Kushel,, "Boynton track club trio blitz to top efforts at national meet," 7 July 2018 Mayo was recently informed of the award when the medal was received by LHS choir director Christie Bean. Community Report, Houston Chronicle, "LHS singer Mayo named Outstanding Performer at state contest," 4 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Additionally, this victory is the very first time U.S. women have ever medaled in the sport. Tess Koman, Cosmopolitan, "These Cross-Country Skiers Just Made a Whole Lot of Olympic History in a Shocking Upset," 21 Feb. 2018 At 37 years and 333 days old on Saturday, Bjoergen was the second-oldest woman to ever medal in the team relay. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Marit Bjoergen makes history with 13th career medal at 2018 Winter Olympics," 17 Feb. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about medal

Dictionary Entries near medal





medal bronze

medal chief


Statistics for medal

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for medal

The first known use of medal was circa 1578

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


having no equal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

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!