[ ak-uh-leyd, -lahd; ak-uh-leyd, -lahd ]
/ ˈæk əˌleɪd, -ˌlɑd; ˌæk əˈleɪd, -ˈlɑd /
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See synonyms for: accolade / accolades on Thesaurus.com

any award, honor, or laudatory notice: The play received accolades from the press.
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.
the ceremony itself.
Music. a brace joining several staves.
  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.
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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


ac·co·lad·ed, adjective


accoladed , accolated
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is an accolade?

An accolade is an award, honor, or instance of positive acknowledgment or praise.

The word is typically used in the context of honors and praise that have been given to a person throughout their professional career.

It is especially used to refer to prestigious awards and honors that not many people receive.

The adjective accoladed can be used to describe a person who has received many accolades, but the term is rarely used.

The word accolade is also used in a few technical ways in the context of music and architecture.

Example: It would take too long to list her many accolades, which range from professional awards to humanitarian honors to public messages of praise from her peers in the field.

Where does accolade come from?

The first records of the word accolade come from the 1870s. It comes from the French accol(er), meaning “to embrace,” ultimately from col, which means “neck” (and is also the basis of the word collar).

You know that part in movies where the king or queen touches the soon-to-be knight on each shoulder with a sword and says “I knight you Sir So-And-So”? That touch on the shoulder is called the accolade. The word eventually also came to be used to refer to the knighting ceremony itself.

The word was later used in a more general way to mean “an embrace,” and from there took on the meaning involving admiration, praise, and honors.

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What are some other forms related to accolade?

  • accoladed (adjective)

What are some synonyms for accolade?

What are some words that share a root or word element with accolade

What are some words that often get used in discussing accolade?

How is accolade used in real life?

Accolade is typically used in positive contexts. The word implies that the award or honor is prestigious.

Try using accolade!

Is accolade used correctly in the following sentence?

Being honored by her peers was the kind of accolade the painter had only dreamed of.

How to use accolade in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for accolade

/ (ˈækəˌleɪd, ˌækəˈleɪd) /

strong praise or approval; acclaim
an award or honour
the ceremonial gesture used to confer knighthood, originally an embrace, now a touch on the shoulder with a sword
a rare word for brace (def. 7)
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