[ak-uh-leyd, -lahd; ak-uh-leyd, -lahd]
See more synonyms for accolade on
  1. any award, honor, or laudatory notice: The play received accolades from the press.
  2. a light touch on the shoulder with the flat side of the sword or formerly by an embrace, done in the ceremony of conferring knighthood.
  3. the ceremony itself.
  4. Music. a brace joining several staves.
  5. Architecture.
    1. an archivolt or hood molding having more or less the form of an ogee arch.
    2. a decoration having more or less the form of an ogee arch, cut into a lintel or flat arch.

Origin of accolade

1615–25; < French, derivative of a(c)colée embrace (with -ade -ade1), noun use of feminine past participle of a(c)coler, Old French verbal derivative of col neck (see collar) with a- a-5
Related formsac·co·lad·ed, adjective
Can be confusedaccoladed accolated Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for accolade

distinction, kudos, award, decoration, approval, badge, honor

Examples from the Web for accolade

Contemporary Examples of accolade

Historical Examples of accolade

  • Her hand has touched them—it is an accolade—they are noble, now.

    What Is Man? And Other Stories

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • Thus he won the accolade of his peers as a worthy horse-man of the hills.

    A Texas Ranger

    William MacLeod Raine

  • Marjory, do you remember when you sat on the throne in the cave, and gave me the accolade?

  • He gives the accolade to our commander, and through him, to us all.

    War Days in Brittany

    Elsie Deming Jarves

  • I attended a special Council at Windsor to receive the "accolade."

British Dictionary definitions for accolade


  1. strong praise or approval; acclaim
  2. an award or honour
  3. the ceremonial gesture used to confer knighthood, originally an embrace, now a touch on the shoulder with a sword
  4. a rare word for brace (def. 7)
  5. architect a curved ornamental moulding, esp one having the shape of an ogee arch

Word Origin for accolade

C17: via French and Italian from Vulgar Latin accollāre (unattested) to hug; related to Latin collum neck
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 accolade

1620s, from French accolade (16c.), from Provençal acolada or Italian accollata, ultimately from noun use of a fem. past participle from Vulgar Latin *accollare "to embrace around the neck," from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + collum "neck" (see collar (n.)).

The original sense is of an embrace about the neck or the tapping of a sword on the shoulders to confer knighthood. Extended meaning "praise, award" is from 1852. Also see -ade. Earlier was accoll (mid-14c.), from Old French acolee "an embrace, kiss, especially that given to a new-made knight," from verb acoler. The French noun in the 16c. was transformed to accolade, with the foreign suffix.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper