awe

[aw]
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noun
  1. 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.
  2. Archaic. power to inspire fear or reverence.
  3. Obsolete. fear or dread.
verb (used with object), awed, aw·ing.
  1. to inspire with awe.
  2. to influence or restrain by awe.

Origin of awe

1250–1300; Middle English aghe, awe < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse agi fear, cognate with Gothic agis, Old English ege, Greek áchos pain
Related formsout·awe, verb (used with object), out·awed, out·aw·ing.

Synonyms for awe

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Antonyms for awe

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for awe

awe

noun
  1. overwhelming wonder, admiration, respect, or dread
  2. archaic power to inspire fear or reverence
verb
  1. (tr) to inspire with reverence or dread
Derived Formsaweless or US awless, adjective

Word Origin for awe

C13: from Old Norse agi; related to Gothic agis fear, Greek akhesthai to be grieved
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 awe
n.

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.

v.

c.1300, from awe (n.); Old English had egan (v.). Related: Awed; awing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper