• synonyms


  1. 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.
  2. a similar object bearing a religious image, as of a saint: a Saint Christopher's medal.
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verb (used with object), med·aled, med·al·ing or (especially British) med·alled, med·al·ling.
  1. to decorate or honor with a medal.
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verb (used without object), med·aled, med·al·ing or (especially British) med·alled, med·al·ling.
  1. to receive a medal, especially in a sporting event: He medaled in three of four races.
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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 formsun·med·aled, adjectiveun·med·alled, adjective
Can be confusedmedal meddle metal mettle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for medalled

Historical Examples of medalled

  • As the brougham halted at its portals an old and medalled man rushed forth, touched his cap, and assisted Edward Henry to alight.

    The Regent

    E. Arnold Bennett

  • Still, however, he maintains a supremacy over six or seven medalled rivals, in despite of the intrigues of the traders.

British Dictionary definitions for medalled


  1. a small flat piece of metal bearing an inscription or image, given as an award or commemoration of some outstanding action, event, etc
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verb -als, -alling or -alled or US -als, -aling or -aled
  1. (tr) to honour with a medal
  2. (intr) informal (in sport) to win a medal
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Derived Formsmedallic (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

Word Origin and History for medalled



1580s, from Middle French médaille (15c.), from Italian medaglia "a medal," according to OED from Vulgar Latin *metallea (moneta) "metal (coin)," from Latin metallum (see metal). The other theory [Klein, Barnhart, Watkins] is that medaglia originally meant "coin worth half a denarius," and is from Vulgar Latin *medalia, from Late Latin medialia "little halves," neuter plural of medialis "of the middle" (see medial (adj.)). Originally a trinket or charm; as a reward for merit, proficiency, etc., attested from 1751.

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1845, "stamped onto a medal," from medal (n.). From 1857 as "to award (someone or something) a medal;" intransitive sense is 20c. Related: Medaled; medalled; medaling; medalling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper