[aw-suh m]


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.

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

Contemporary Examples of awesome

Historical Examples of awesome

  • He faced them, a tall, awesome figure in his long, full dressing-gown.

    The Night Riders

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • So awesome was it that I do not wonder we went a considerable way in silence.

    The House Under the Sea

    Sir Max Pemberton

  • Oh, I do not see how anything can be so grand, so awesome as this!

    Out of the Depths

    Robert Ames Bennet

  • He worked with mad haste, and there was an awesome, insane glare in his eyes.

  • There seemed to be a weird and awesome significance in the scene.

    Peak and Prairie

    Anna Fuller

British Dictionary definitions for awesome



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