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  1. filled with or expressing awe.
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Origin of awed

First recorded in 1635–45; awe + -ed2
Related formsaw·ed·ly [aw-id-lee, awd-] /ˈɔ ɪd li, ˈɔd-/, adverbaw·ed·ness, nounun·awed, adjective


  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.
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verb (used with object), awed, aw·ing.
  1. to inspire with awe.
  2. to influence or restrain by awe.
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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.


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

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Examples from the Web for awed

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • His very desolation, amidst the unfamiliar faces, awed and chilled him.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Caeri was awed by the noble and fearless manner of the stranger.

    Gomez Arias

    Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso

  • And now again she spoke in almost awed tones of my "deepness."

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The savage and the satyr might have beheld, and been awed into reverence.


    William Godwin

  • Neither spoke for a long time; an awed silence rested on them.

    The Downfall

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for awed


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

Word Origin

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 awed



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.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper