Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A feeling of respect or reverence mixed with dread and wonder, often inspired by something majestic or powerful.
  • noun The power to inspire dread.
  • noun Dread.
  • transitive verb To fill with awe.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Dread; fear, as of something evil.
  • noun Fear mingled with admiration or reverence; reverential fear; feeling inspired by something sublime, not necessarily partaking of the nature of fear or dread.
  • noun Overawing influence.
  • noun Synonyms Reverence, Veneration, etc. See reverence, n.
  • To owe.
  • To inspire with fear or dread; terrify; control or restrain by the influence of fear.
  • To strike with awe, reverence, or respect; influence by exciting profound respect or reverential fear.
  • noun One of the float-boards of an undershot water-wheel, on which the water acts.
  • noun One of the sails of a windmill.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To strike with fear and reverence; to inspire with awe; to control by inspiring dread.
  • noun Obs. or Obsolescent Dread; great fear mingled with respect.
  • noun The emotion inspired by something dreadful and sublime; an undefined sense of the dreadful and the sublime; reverential fear, or solemn wonder; profound reverence.
  • noun to fear greatly; to reverence profoundly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A feeling of fear and reverence.
  • noun A feeling of amazement.
  • verb transitive To inspire fear and reverence.
  • verb transitive To control by inspiring dread.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb inspire awe in
  • noun a feeling of profound respect for someone or something
  • noun an overwhelming feeling of wonder or admiration

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English aue, from Old Norse agi.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English eġe, influenced during Middle English by forms from the Old Norse cognate agi, both from Proto-Germanic *agaz.

Examples

  • For many decisions about what to eat are not based on a personal sense of awe do plants or animals care if we are “in awe” of them anyway?

    Philocrites: This week at uuworld.org: Heroes' dilemma.

  • The one that just has me in awe, is the Sugared Walnut ...

    Archive 2007-03-01

  • The one that just has me in awe, is the Sugared Walnut ...

    Fan Mail

  • Today the word awe gets thrown around like a dishrag.

    You Being Beautiful

  • Today the word awe gets thrown around like a dishrag.

    You Being Beautiful

  • “All these sentiments blend together in the soul,” becoming “a single phenomenon which we call awe” (loc. cit.).

    18th Century German Aesthetics

  • In a preview of the special Comerford, who has been cooking for presidents since the Clinton administration, said the chefs were in "awe" of everything they saw at the White House.

    First lady challenges Iron Chefs

  • Way to go Fox ... at least one station isn't so in "awe" of him that they are not afraid to call him out of certain things.

    Obama takes aim at Fox News

  • Publicly, the Europeans have been following the script – "a good night's kip and then go out there and give it to them," said the normally mild-mannered Ross Fisher, sounding more like Paulie Gualtieri from the Sopranos than Clark Kent – but behind the scenes they have been in awe of the way Montgomerie has comported himself this week.

    Ryder Cup 2010: Colin Montgomerie uses dark arts to steel European team

  • I was in awe of you, thinking you were going to be the next Dylan Thomas!

    The Thrill of a Lifetime

Comments

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  • "When they lose their sense of awe, people turn to religion." --Tao Te Ching

    April 7, 2007

  • @LiteralMinded's @VisualThesaurus column on "awesome/awful/awe"--and rollercoasters! (paywall) http://bit.ly/bEoLxs

    June 10, 2010