- an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like: in awe of God; in awe of great political figures.
- Archaic. power to inspire fear or reverence.
- Obsolete. fear or dread.
- to inspire with awe.
- to influence or restrain by awe.
Origin of awe
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for awes
But the sight, though it awes us, does not depress us or deter us.The Heart of Nature
Surely it can't be merely his habit;——there's something in him that awes me.The Belle's Stratagem
Hence, while the one pleases, the other awes and subdues us.
Then comes the dark cell, an experience which awes the boldest.Nevermore
The majesty of Night is so contagious, it awes, it inspires.Vendetta
Honore de Balzac
- overwhelming wonder, admiration, respect, or dread
- archaic power to inspire fear or reverence
- (tr) to inspire with reverence or dread
Word Origin and History for awes
c.1300, earlier aghe, c.1200, from a Scandinavian source, e.g. Old Norse agi "fright;" from Proto-Germanic *agiz- (cf. Old English ege "fear," Old High German agiso "fright, terror," Gothic agis "fear, anguish"), from PIE *agh-es- (cf. Greek akhos "pain, grief"), from root *agh- "to be depressed, be afraid" (see ail). Current sense of "dread mixed with veneration" is due to biblical use with reference to the Supreme Being. Awe-inspiring is recorded from 1814.