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kudos

1
[koo-dohz, -dohs, -dos, kyoo-]
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noun (used with a singular verb)
  1. honor; glory; acclaim: He received kudos from everyone on his performance.
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Origin of kudos

1
1825–35; irregular transliteration of Greek kŷdos

Usage note

In the 19th century, kudos1 entered English as a singular noun, a transliteration of a Greek singular noun kŷdos meaning “praise or renown.” It was at first used largely in academic circles, but it gained wider currency in the 1920s in journalistic use, particularly in headlines: Playwright receives kudos. Kudos given to track record breakers. Kudos is often used, as in these examples, in contexts that do not clearly indicate whether it is singular or plural; and because it ends in -s, the marker of regular plurals in English, kudos has come to be widely regarded and used as a plural noun meaning “accolades” rather than as a singular mass noun meaning “honor or glory.”
The singular form kudo has been produced from kudos by back formation, the same process that gave us the singular pea from pease, originally both singular and plural, sherry from Xeres (an earlier spelling of the Spanish city Jerez), and cherry from the French singular noun cherise. This singular form has developed the meanings “honor” and “statement of praise, accolade.”
Both the singular form kudo and kudos as a plural are today most common in journalistic writing. Some usage guides warn against using them.

kudos

2
[koo-dohz, kyoo-]
noun
  1. plural of kudo.
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kudo

[koo-doh, kyoo-]
noun, plural ku·dos for 2.
  1. honor; glory; acclaim: No greater kudo could have been bestowed.
  2. a statement of praise or approval; accolade; compliment: one kudo after another.
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Origin of kudo

1925–30; back formation from kudos1, construed as a plural

Usage note

See kudos1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for kudos

applause, renown, esteem, plaudits, eminence, fame, flattery, preeminence, credit, repute, regard, distinction, prestige, notability, glory, plum, prominence, puff, honor, PR

Examples from the Web for kudos

Contemporary Examples of kudos

Historical Examples of kudos


British Dictionary definitions for kudos

kudos

noun
  1. (functioning as singular) acclaim, glory, or prestigethe kudos of playing Carnegie Hall
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Word Origin for kudos

C18: from Greek
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 kudos

n.

"fame, renown," 1799, probably originally in university slang, from Greek kydos "glory, fame," especially in battle, literally "that which is heard of" (see caveat). A singular noun in Greek, but the final -s often is mistaken as a plural suffix in English, leading to the barbarous back-formation kudo (attested by 1936).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper