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[ak-uh-leyd, -lahd; ak-uh-leyd, -lahd] /ˈæk əˌleɪd, -ˌlɑd; ˌæk əˈleɪd, -ˈlɑd/
any award, honor, or laudatory notice:
The play received accolades from the press.
a light touch on the shoulder with the flat side of the sword or formerly by an embrace, done in the ceremony of conferring knighthood.
the ceremony itself.
Music. a brace joining several staves.
  1. an archivolt or hood molding having more or less the form of an ogee arch.
  2. a decoration having more or less the form of an ogee arch, cut into a lintel or flat arch.
Origin of accolade
1615-25; < French, derivative of a(c)colée embrace (with -ade -ade1), noun use of feminine past participle of a(c)coler, Old French verbal derivative of col neck (see collar) with a- a-5
Related forms
accoladed, adjective
Can be confused
accoladed, accolated. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for accolade
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • accolade, a gentle blow with a sword on the shoulder in conferring knighthood.

    The Nuttall Encyclopaedia Edited by Rev. James Wood
  • Thus he won the accolade of his peers as a worthy horse-man of the hills.

    A Texas Ranger William MacLeod Raine
  • But after all, who could resist the accolade he had received?

    The Mind Digger Winston Marks
  • Marjory, do you remember when you sat on the throne in the cave, and gave me the accolade?

  • By now Kedzie was familiar enough with names of great places to realize the accolade.

    We Can't Have Everything Rupert Hughes
British Dictionary definitions for accolade


/ˈækəˌleɪd; ˌækəˈleɪd/
strong praise or approval; acclaim
an award or honour
the ceremonial gesture used to confer knighthood, originally an embrace, now a touch on the shoulder with a sword
a rare word for brace (sense 7)
(architect) a curved ornamental moulding, esp one having the shape of an ogee arch
Word Origin
C17: via French and Italian from Vulgar Latin accollāre (unattested) to hug; related to Latin collum neck
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
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Word Origin and History for accolade

1620s, from French accolade (16c.), from Provençal acolada or Italian accollata, ultimately from noun use of a fem. past participle from Vulgar Latin *accollare "to embrace around the neck," from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + collum "neck" (see collar (n.)).

The original sense is of an embrace about the neck or the tapping of a sword on the shoulders to confer knighthood. Extended meaning "praise, award" is from 1852. Also see -ade. Earlier was accoll (mid-14c.), from Old French acolee "an embrace, kiss, especially that given to a new-made knight," from verb acoler. The French noun in the 16c. was transformed to accolade, with the foreign suffix.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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