filled with or expressing awe.

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




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.
Archaic. power to inspire fear or reverence.
Obsolete. fear or dread.

verb (used with object), awed, aw·ing.

to inspire with awe.
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

Antonyms for awe Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for awed

Contemporary Examples of awed

Historical Examples of awed

  • 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



overwhelming wonder, admiration, respect, or dread
archaic power to inspire fear or reverence


(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 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.



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper