[ aw-suh m ]
/ ˈɔ səm /


causing or inducing awe; inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear: an awesome sight.
exhibiting or marked by awe; showing reverence, admiration, or fear.
Slang. very impressive: That new white convertible is totally awesome.

Nearby words

  1. aweather,
  2. awed,
  3. awedly,
  4. aweigh,
  5. aweless,
  6. awesomely,
  7. awesomesauce,
  8. awestruck,
  9. aweto,
  10. awful

Origin of awesome

First recorded in 1590–1600; awe + -some1

Related formsawe·some·ly, adverbawe·some·ness, noun

Can be confusedawful awesome offal

Usage note

See awful. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for awesome

British Dictionary definitions for awesome


/ (ˈɔːsəm) /


inspiring or displaying awe
slang excellent or outstanding
Derived Formsawesomely, adverbawesomeness, noun

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 awesome



1590s, "profoundly reverential," from awe (n.) + -some (1). Meaning "inspiring awe" is from 1670s; weakened colloquial sense of "impressive, very good" is recorded by 1961 and was in vogue from after c.1980. Related: Awesomely; awesomeness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper