Definitions

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

  • noun A reward; recompense.
  • transitive verb To reward.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A reward; requital; recompense.
  • To give a guerdon to; reward.

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

  • noun A reward; requital; recompense; -- used in both a good and a bad sense.
  • transitive verb rare To give guerdon to; to reward; to be a recompense for.

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

  • noun now literary A reward, prize or recompense for a service; an accolade.
  • verb transitive To give such a reward to.

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

  • noun a reward or payment

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin widerdōnum, alteration (influenced by Latin dōnum, gift) of Old High German widarlōn : widar, back, against; see wi- in Indo-European roots + lōn, reward; see lau- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French guerdon, from Medieval Latin widerdonum, from West Germanic (whence Old English wiþerlēan), literally ‘again-payment’, with the second element assimilated to Latin donum ("gift").

Examples

  • The gods were wroth at so presumptuous an offer, but when they would have indignantly driven the stranger from their presence, Loki urged them to make a bargain which it would be impossible for the stranger to keep, and so they finally told the architect that the guerdon should be his, provided the fortress were finished in the course of a single winter, and that he accomplished the work with no other assistance than that of his horse Svadilfare.

    Myths of the Norsemen From the Eddas and Sagas

  • The 13-year-old boy aced "guerdon" to win the 81st edition of the bee, held in the nation's capital.

    Meet the Bees

  • Thanks to the school of scientific philosophers he favored, he knew the biological significance of love; but by a refined process of the same scientific reasoning he reached the conclusion that the human organism achieved its highest purpose in love, that love must not be questioned, but must be accepted as the highest guerdon of life.

    Chapter 23

  • “Then dirt and weather-beat shall be your guerdon of honour,”

    Chapter 39

  • The winning words in recent competitions have included: pococurante; autochthonous; appoggiatura; ursprache; serrefine; guerdon; Laodicean.

    Archive 2010-06-01

  • Lors des championnats les plus récents, les mots qui ont permis aux gagnants de remporter la victoire ont été pococurante, autochthonous, appoggiatura, ursprache, serrefine, guerdon et Laodicean.

    Archive 2010-07-01

  • The winning words in recent competitions have included: pococurante; autochthonous; appoggiatura; ursprache; serrefine; guerdon; Laodicean.

    The American Spelling Bee

  • Constructing new legislation is always difficult, but I propose a simple starting point for immigration selection: Anyone who can spell guerdon is in!

    Indian Americans: The New Model Minority

  • When Sameer Mishra correctly spelled guerdon last May to win the 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee, he became the sixth Indian-American winner in the past 10 years.

    Indian Americans: The New Model Minority

  • People also gathered round this silver-and-nickel-alloy guerdon to meet its guardian: Mike Bolt.

    The Magazine: Culture and Celebrity

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.