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

The Toronto Raptors center becomes the second player to win an NBA title and a FIBA world gold medal in the same year, joining Lamar Odom, who did it for the Los Angeles Lakers and USA Basketball in 2010., "Spain won its second World Cup basketball championship, defeating Argentina, 95-75, on Sunday in Beijing to give," 16 Sep. 2019 Ride was posthumously awarded the medal, the nation's highest civilian honor. Lauren Kent, CNN, "Sally Ride: America's first woman in space," 29 Aug. 2019 One of the top junior biathletes in the United States, Lapkass won two medals — one gold, one silver — at last season’s Junior Nationals. Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage biathlete named to U.S. team for Youth Olympics," 29 Aug. 2019 Bolt, an eight-time gold medal Olympian, has since retired from track and field; he's moved into numerous business ventures and continues to shine a spotlight on Jamaican music and culture. Patricia Meschino, Billboard, "Usain Bolt Turns Producer: Watch the Olympic Gold Medalist's Music Video: Premiere," 28 Aug. 2019 Talbott received a certificate of appreciation from SPD and has been nominated for the department's lifesaving medal, which will be presented at an awards ceremony next summer, the post said. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Watch: CPR training pays off for Kentucky police during crisis situation," 28 Aug. 2019 Russia had the most success, winning 24 medals, followed by Ukraine and Moldova. Laura Mallonee, WIRED, "For These Sword-Wielding Warriors, Medieval Battles Live On," 27 Aug. 2019 Markgraf, originally from Michigan, was part of the 1999 World Cup champion and also won two Olympic gold medals (2004 and 2008) as a player. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukeean Kate Markgraf appointed general manager of the women's soccer national team," 13 Aug. 2019 The most decorated athlete in Olympic history with 28 medals, including 23 gold, retired after Rio. Eddie Pells,, "U.S. Olympic Committee trying to balance new ideals with winning," 26 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Among the local athletes who medaled was 17-year-old David Yudien of Boca Raton, a point guard for the gold-medal winning U.S. men’s youth basketball team. Sergio Carmona,, "South Florida athletes compete at European Maccabi Games in Hungary," 23 Aug. 2019 White and Blair are the only U.S. athletes to medal three times in the same event at the Winter Olympics. Chris Chavez,, "Wednesday Olympic Daily Digest: How Shaun White Enters The History Books With His Third Gold Medal," 14 Feb. 2018 Aasen competed in the Maryland Senior Olympics and medaled in the 400, 800, 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000-meter events to qualify for nationals in 2017. Megan Woodward,, "Fitness: Yvonne Aasen is ‘an inspiration to keep on running'," 23 July 2019 Gleirscher, who had never medaled in a World Cup singles race, finished his four runs in 3:10.702 for the gold, Austria's first in men's luge in 50 years. USA TODAY, "Red alert: Gerard wins United States' 1st gold of games," 11 Feb. 2018 The Americans medaled in all five finals, with Caeleb Dressel and Olivia Smoliga winning golds. Beth Harris,, "Katie Ledecky returns but US falls to Australia in relay at swimming worlds," 25 July 2019 Contestants who wish to qualify for the national competition must medal in the previous year’s state senior Olympics. Megan Woodward,, "Fitness: Yvonne Aasen is ‘an inspiration to keep on running'," 23 July 2019 Hofmann, whose TEOTWAWKI Imperial Brown Ale medaled at the Festival of Barrel-Aged Beers in Chicago not long ago, plans to have four approachable beers on tap: a stout, a golden ale, an India Pale Ale and an amber. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Sahale Ale Works brewery and taproom will open in Grafton on July 20," 8 July 2019 Battistini recently medaled at the World Masters swim championships., "2018-19 Swimming All-Scholastics," 10 June 2019

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

22 Sep 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).


to spread over or through

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