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verb (used with object), prized, priz·ing.
  1. to value or esteem highly.
  2. to estimate the worth or value of.

Origin of prize2

1325–75; Middle English prisen < Middle French prisier, variant of preisier to praise

Synonym study

1. See appreciate.


or prise

verb (used with object), prized, priz·ing.
  1. pry2.
  1. leverage.
  2. a lever.

Origin of prize3

1350–1400; Middle English prise < Middle French: a hold, grasp < Latin pre(hē)nsa. See prize1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for prizing

Historical Examples

  • But it was only her illness that made her capable of prizing such comfort.

    Robert Falconer

    George MacDonald

  • Prizing a treasure so rare, I gave myself away to her irrevocably.

  • We press the tobacco in hogsheads, you know, and we call it prizing.

    A Man of Honor

    George Cary Eggleston

  • One of them had a crowbar with which he was prizing up a stone.

  • Prizing highly the liberty they had enjoyed so long, they defended themselves with desperation.

British Dictionary definitions for prizing


    1. a reward or honour for victory or for having won a contest, competition, etc
    2. (as modifier)prize jockey; prize essay
  1. something given to the winner of any game of chance, lottery, etc
  2. something striven for
  3. any valuable property captured in time of war, esp a vessel

Word Origin

C14: from Old French prise a capture, from Latin prehendere to seize; influenced also by Middle English prise reward; see price


  1. (tr) to esteem greatly; value highly

Word Origin

C15 prise, from Old French preisier to praise


verb, noun
  1. a variant spelling of prise
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

Word Origin and History for prizing



"reward," prise (c.1300 in this sense), from Old French pris "price, value, worth; reward" (see price (n.)). As an adjective, "worthy of a prize," from 1803. The spelling with -z- is from late 16c. Prize-fighter is from 1703; prize-fight from 1730 (prize-fighter from 1785).



"something taken by force," mid-13c., prise "a taking, holding," from Old French prise "a taking, seizing, holding," noun use of fem. past participle of prendre "to take, seize," from Latin prendere, contraction of prehendere "lay hold of, grasp, seize, catch" (see prehensile). Especially of ships captured at sea (1510s). The spelling with -z- is from late 16c.



"to estimate," 1580s, alteration of Middle English prisen "to prize, value" (late 14c.), from stem of Old French preisier "to praise" (see praise (v.)). Related: Prized; prizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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