affording satisfaction, valuable experience, or the like; worthwhile.
affording financial or material gain; profitable.

Origin of rewarding

First recorded in 1690–1700; reward + -ing2
Related formsre·ward·ing·ly, adverbqua·si-re·ward·ing, adjectiveun·re·ward·ing, adjective




a sum of money offered for the detection or capture of a criminal, the recovery of lost or stolen property, etc.
something given or received in return or recompense for service, merit, hardship, etc.

verb (used with object)

to recompense or requite (a person or animal) for service, merit, achievement, etc.
to make return for or requite (service, merit, etc.); recompense.

Origin of reward

1275–1325; (v.) Middle English rewarden orig., to regard < Old North French rewarder to look at, variant of Old French reguarder; (noun) Middle English: orig., regard < Anglo-French, Old North French, variant of Old French reguard, derivative of reguarder; see regard
Related formsre·ward·a·ble, adjectivere·ward·a·ble·ness, nounre·ward·a·bly, adverbre·ward·er, nounre·ward·less, adjectivemis·re·ward, verb (used with object)o·ver·re·ward, verbsu·per·re·ward, verb (used with object), nounun·re·ward·a·ble, adjectiveun·re·ward·ed, adjectivewell-re·ward·ed, adjective

Synonyms for reward

Synonym study

2. Reward, prize, recompense imply something given in return for good. A reward is something given or done in return for good (or, more rarely, evil) received; it may refer to something abstract or concrete: a $50 reward; Virtue is its own reward. Prize refers to something concrete offered as a reward of merit, or to be contested for and given to the winner: to win a prize for an essay. A recompense is something given or done, whether as reward or punishment, for acts performed, services rendered, etc.; or it may be something given in compensation for loss or injury suffered, etc.: Renown was his principal recompense for years of hard work. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rewarding

Contemporary Examples of rewarding

Historical Examples of rewarding

  • When they are beaten back, he is frowning upon them: when the yams ripen to abundant harvest he is rewarding their piety.

    The Fijians

    Basil Thomson

  • I want your help, and I'm not in the habit of rewarding my assistants by sending them back to prison.

  • Undoubtedly the innovation of rewarding the rank and file as well as the officers created much139 satisfaction.

    Chats on Military Curios

    Stanley C. Johnson

  • In rewarding courage he was bountiful, and in punishing for offences he was merciful.

  • Such experiences are deeply reassuring and rewarding for all the participating couples.

British Dictionary definitions for rewarding



giving personal satisfaction; gratifyingcaring for the elderly is rewarding



something given or received in return for a deed or service rendered
a sum of money offered, esp for help in finding a criminal or for the return of lost or stolen property
profit or return
something received in return for good or evil; deserts
psychol any pleasant event that follows a response and therefore increases the likelihood of the response recurring in the future


(tr) to give (something) to (someone), esp in gratitude for a service rendered; recompense
Derived Formsrewardable, adjectiverewarder, nounrewardless, adjective

Word Origin for reward

C14: from Old Norman French rewarder to regard, from re- + warder to care for, guard, of Germanic origin; see ward
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 rewarding



mid-14c., "a regarding, heeding, observation," from Anglo-French and Old North French reward, back-formation from rewarder (see reward (v.)). Meaning "repayment for some service" is from late 14c. Sense of "sum of money in exchange for capture" is from 1590s.



c.1300 "to grant, bestow;" early 14c. "to give as compensation," from Old North French rewarder "to regard, reward," variant of Old French regarder "take notice of, regard, watch over," from re-, intensive prefix (see re-), + garder "look, heed, watch" (see guard (v.)). Originally any form of requital. A doublet of regard. Related: Rewarded; rewarding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for rewarding




The return for the performance of a behavior that is desired; a positive reinforcement.
Related formsre•ward v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.