[ med-l ]
See synonyms for medal on
  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.

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.

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.

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 mediālismedial

Other words from medal

  • un·med·aled, adjective
  • un·med·alled, adjective

Words that may be confused with medal Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use medal in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for medal


/ (ˈmɛdəl) /

  1. 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
  1. (tr) to honour with a medal

  2. (intr) informal (in sport) to win a medal

Origin of medal

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

Derived forms of medal

  • medallic (mɪˈdælɪk), adjective

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