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[aw-suh m] /ˈɔ səm/
causing or inducing awe; inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear:
an awesome sight.
exhibiting or marked by awe; showing reverence, admiration, or fear.
Slang. very impressive:
That new white convertible is totally awesome.
Origin of awesome
1590-1600; awe + -some1
Related forms
awesomely, adverb
awesomeness, noun
Can be confused
awful, awesome, offal.
Usage note
See awful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for awesome
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the meantime, the young inventor realized he had an awesome responsibility.

  • So awesome was it that I do not wonder we went a considerable way in silence.

    The House Under the Sea Sir Max Pemberton
  • Clancy looked at me and my face must have been awesome, for he stopped with mouth agape.

    The Case and Exceptions Frederick Trevor Hill
  • Oh, I do not see how anything can be so grand, so awesome as this!

    Out of the Depths Robert Ames Bennet
  • Now and then he would stop to say in an awesome whisper, "Come out here, you little devils!"

    The Sky Pilot Ralph Connor
British Dictionary definitions for awesome


inspiring or displaying awe
(slang) excellent or outstanding
Derived Forms
awesomely, adverb
awesomeness, noun
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 awesome

1590s, "profoundly reverential," from awe (n.) + -some (1). Meaning "inspiring awe" is from 1670s; weakened colloquial sense of "impressive, very good" is recorded by 1961 and was in vogue from after c.1980. Related: Awesomely; awesomeness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for awesome



Excellent; wonderful; outstanding; cool, neat (Teenagers)


Excellent! Great!: You fixed it? Awesome!

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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