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[aw-suh m] /ˈɔ səm/
causing or inducing awe; inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear:
an awesome sight.
exhibiting or marked by awe; showing reverence, admiration, or fear.
Slang. very impressive:
That new white convertible is totally awesome.
Origin of awesome
First recorded in 1590-1600; awe + -some1
Related forms
awesomely, adverb
awesomeness, noun
Can be confused
awful, awesome, offal.
Usage note
See awful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for awesome
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He faced them, a tall, awesome figure in his long, full dressing-gown.

    The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum
  • So awesome was it that I do not wonder we went a considerable way in silence.

    The House Under the Sea

    Sir Max Pemberton
  • Oh, I do not see how anything can be so grand, so awesome as this!

    Out of the Depths

    Robert Ames Bennet
  • He worked with mad haste, and there was an awesome, insane glare in his eyes.

    Frank Merriwell Down South Burt L. Standish
  • There seemed to be a weird and awesome significance in the scene.

    Peak and Prairie Anna Fuller
British Dictionary definitions for awesome


inspiring or displaying awe
(slang) excellent or outstanding
Derived Forms
awesomely, adverb
awesomeness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for awesome

1590s, "profoundly reverential," from awe (n.) + -some (1). Meaning "inspiring awe" is from 1670s; weakened colloquial sense of "impressive, very good" is recorded by 1961 and was in vogue from after c.1980. Related: Awesomely; awesomeness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for awesome



Excellent; wonderful; outstanding; cool, neat (Teenagers)


Excellent! Great!: You fixed it? Awesome!

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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