[ med-l ]
/ ˈmɛd l /


a flat piece of metal, often a disk but sometimes a cross, star, or other form, usually bearing an inscription or design, issued to commemorate a person, action, or event, or given as a reward for bravery, merit, or the like: a gold medal for the best swimmer.
a similar object bearing a religious image, as of a saint: a Saint Christopher's medal.

verb (used with object), med·aled, med·al·ing or (especially British) med·alled, med·al·ling.

to decorate or honor with a medal.

verb (used without object), med·aled, med·al·ing or (especially British) med·alled, med·al·ling.

to receive a medal, especially in a sporting event: He medaled in three of four races.

Origin of medal

1580–90; earlier medaille < Middle French < Italian medaglia copper coin worth a halfpenny < Vulgar Latin *medalia, variant (by dissimilation) of Late Latin mediālia, noun use of neuter plural (taken as feminine singular) of mediālis medial

Related forms

un·med·aled, adjectiveun·med·alled, adjective

Can be confused

medal meddle metal mettle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for medal

British Dictionary definitions for medal


/ (ˈmɛdəl) /


a small flat piece of metal bearing an inscription or image, given as an award or commemoration of some outstanding action, event, etc

verb -als, -alling or -alled or US -als, -aling or -aled

(tr) to honour with a medal
(intr) informal (in sport) to win a medal

Derived Forms

medallic (mɪˈdælɪk), adjective

Word Origin for medal

C16: from French médaille, probably from Italian medaglia, ultimately from Latin metallum metal
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