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[prahyz] /praɪz/
verb (used with object), prized, prizing.
to value or esteem highly.
to estimate the worth or value of.
Origin of prize2
1325-75; Middle English prisen < Middle French prisier, variant of preisier to praise
1. See appreciate.


or prise

[prahyz] /praɪz/
verb (used with object), prized, prizing.
pry2 .
a lever.
1350-1400; Middle English prise < Middle French: a hold, grasp < Latin pre()nsa. See prize1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for prizing
Historical Examples
  • prizing highly the liberty they had enjoyed so long, they defended themselves with desperation.

  • But it was only her illness that made her capable of prizing such comfort.

    Robert Falconer George MacDonald
  • We press the tobacco in hogsheads, you know, and we call it prizing.

    A Man of Honor George Cary Eggleston
  • But the greater number of us, prizing honor more than life itself, decided on attempting at any risk to return to Spain.

  • On the one hand, it denotes the attitude of prizing a thing finding it worth while, for its own sake, or intrinsically.

  • Thinking well over it there is some sensuality in prizing too highly the flesh and guarding excessively what one ought to despise.

    The Queen Pedauque Anatole France
  • prizing a treasure so rare, I gave myself away to her irrevocably.

  • That doesn't prevent me from prizing your life, Baroness, in the interests of a world not too rich in what you contribute to it.

    Sophy of Kravonia Anthony Hope
  • They would be prizing on the breaks in Key & Buckner's long warehouse pretty soon.

    Old Judge Priest Irvin S. Cobb
  • The flies were very bad, and knowing the animal, and while prizing her so highly, we were all convinced that we must leave her.

British Dictionary definitions for prizing


  1. a reward or honour for victory or for having won a contest, competition, etc
  2. (as modifier): prize jockey, prize essay
something given to the winner of any game of chance, lottery, etc
something striven for
any valuable property captured in time of war, esp a vessel
Word Origin
C14: from Old French prise a capture, from Latin prehendere to seize; influenced also by Middle English prise reward; see price


(transitive) to esteem greatly; value highly
Word Origin
C15 prise, from Old French preisier to praise


verb, noun
a variant spelling of prise
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 prizing



"reward," prise (c.1300 in this sense), from Old French pris "price, value, worth; reward" (see price (n.)). As an adjective, "worthy of a prize," from 1803. The spelling with -z- is from late 16c. Prize-fighter is from 1703; prize-fight from 1730 (prize-fighter from 1785).

"something taken by force," mid-13c., prise "a taking, holding," from Old French prise "a taking, seizing, holding," noun use of fem. past participle of prendre "to take, seize," from Latin prendere, contraction of prehendere "lay hold of, grasp, seize, catch" (see prehensile). Especially of ships captured at sea (1510s). The spelling with -z- is from late 16c.


"to estimate," 1580s, alteration of Middle English prisen "to prize, value" (late 14c.), from stem of Old French preisier "to praise" (see praise (v.)). Related: Prized; prizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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