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late 14c., "decide after careful observation," from Anglo-French awarder, from Old North French eswarder (Old French esguarder) "decide, examine" (after careful consideration), from es- "out" + guarder "to watch" (see guard (n.)). Related: Awarded; awarding.
late 14c., "decision after consideration," from Anglo-French award, Old French esguard, from esguarder (see award (v.)). Meaning "something awarded" is first attested 1590s.