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prize1

[prahyz]
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noun
  1. a reward for victory or superiority, as in a contest or competition.
  2. something that is won in a lottery or the like.
  3. anything striven for, worth striving for, or much valued.
  4. something seized or captured, especially an enemy's ship and cargo captured at sea in wartime.
  5. the act of taking or capturing, especially a ship at sea.
  6. Archaic. a contest or match.
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adjective
  1. having won a prize: a prize bull; a prize play.
  2. worthy of a prize.
  3. given or awarded as a prize.
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Origin of prize1

1250–1300; in senses referring to something seized, continuing Middle English prise something captured, a seizing < Middle French < Latin pre(hē)nsa, noun use of feminine past participle of pre(he)ndere to take; in senses referring to something won, spelling variant of price (Middle English pris(e)) since the late 16th century

Synonyms

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1. premium.

Synonym study

1. See reward.

prize2

[prahyz]
verb (used with object), prized, priz·ing.
  1. to value or esteem highly.
  2. to estimate the worth or value of.
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Origin of prize2

1325–75; Middle English prisen < Middle French prisier, variant of preisier to praise

Synonym study

1. See appreciate.

prize3

or prise

[prahyz]
verb (used with object), prized, priz·ing.
  1. pry2.
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noun
  1. leverage.
  2. a lever.
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Origin of prize3

1350–1400; Middle English prise < Middle French: a hold, grasp < Latin pre(hē)nsa. See prize1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

topnotchoutstandingtrophyjackpotcrownchampionshipadvantagegoldtitlebonuspayoffcitationpursewindfallaccoladebountydividendrewardmedalhonor

Examples from the Web for prize

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Rather gain one prize from the Choragus than ten from the Gymnasiarch.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • The prize was bestowed on him who ran the course without extinguishing his torch.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • I would rather gain one prize from the Choragus, than ten from the Gymnasiarch.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • I have been deeply puzzled and much perturbed over this prize contest.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • Tibbets and Wilson had gone with their old prize, and anything but a prize did she prove to me.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper


British Dictionary definitions for prize

prize1

noun
    1. a reward or honour for victory or for having won a contest, competition, etc
    2. (as modifier)prize jockey; prize essay
  1. something given to the winner of any game of chance, lottery, etc
  2. something striven for
  3. any valuable property captured in time of war, esp a vessel
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French prise a capture, from Latin prehendere to seize; influenced also by Middle English prise reward; see price

prize2

verb
  1. (tr) to esteem greatly; value highly
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Word Origin

C15 prise, from Old French preisier to praise

prize3

verb, noun
  1. a variant spelling of prise
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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 prize

n.1

"reward," prise (c.1300 in this sense), from Old French pris "price, value, worth; reward" (see price (n.)). As an adjective, "worthy of a prize," from 1803. The spelling with -z- is from late 16c. Prize-fighter is from 1703; prize-fight from 1730 (prize-fighter from 1785).

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n.2

"something taken by force," mid-13c., prise "a taking, holding," from Old French prise "a taking, seizing, holding," noun use of fem. past participle of prendre "to take, seize," from Latin prendere, contraction of prehendere "lay hold of, grasp, seize, catch" (see prehensile). Especially of ships captured at sea (1510s). The spelling with -z- is from late 16c.

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v.

"to estimate," 1580s, alteration of Middle English prisen "to prize, value" (late 14c.), from stem of Old French preisier "to praise" (see praise (v.)). Related: Prized; prizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper