[ aw ]
See synonyms for: aweawed on

  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.

  1. 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

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English aghe, awe, from Scandinavian; compare Old Norse agi “fear,” cognate with Gothic agis, Old English ege, Greek áchos “pain”

Other words for awe

Opposites for awe

Other words from awe

  • outawe, verb (used with object), out·awed, out·aw·ing. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use awe in a sentence

  • The delicacy of your highly cultivated mind awes even the violent passion which you inspire.

    Camilla | Fanny Burney
  • It dares not whimper when that forbids, and the nod of a prince awes it into silence and submission.

    Andrew Marvell | Augustine Birrell
  • I could stop and look at a little wayside stream for hours; and a pool—I never tire of it, though it awes me when I am alone.

  • The majesty of Francis I. no longer awes him as before, he becomes familiar with the object of his reverence.

    A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 3 (of 10) | Franois-Marie Arouet (AKA Voltaire)
  • The old graveyard, like the hoary tower, awes the mind and touches the heart.

    Virginia: The Old Dominion | Frank W. Hutchins and Cortelle Hutchins

British Dictionary definitions for awe


/ (ɔː) /

  1. overwhelming wonder, admiration, respect, or dread

  2. archaic power to inspire fear or reverence

  1. (tr) to inspire with reverence or dread

Origin of awe

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

Derived forms of awe

  • aweless or US awless, adjective

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