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[ri-wawrd] /rɪˈwɔrd/
a sum of money offered for the detection or capture of a criminal, the recovery of lost or stolen property, etc.
something given or received in return or recompense for service, merit, hardship, etc.
verb (used with object)
to recompense or requite (a person or animal) for service, merit, achievement, etc.
to make return for or requite (service, merit, etc.); recompense.
Origin of reward
1275-1325; (v.) Middle English rewarden orig., to regard < Old North French rewarder to look at, variant of Old French reguarder; (noun) Middle English: orig., regard < Anglo-French, Old North French, variant of Old French reguard, derivative of reguarder; see regard
Related forms
rewardable, adjective
rewardableness, noun
rewardably, adverb
rewarder, noun
rewardless, adjective
misreward, verb (used with object)
overreward, verb
superreward, verb (used with object), noun
unrewardable, adjective
unrewarded, adjective
well-rewarded, adjective
2. desert, pay, remuneration; requital; bounty, premium, bonus. Reward, prize, recompense imply something given in return for good. A reward is something given or done in return for good (or, more rarely, evil) received; it may refer to something abstract or concrete: a $50 reward; Virtue is its own reward. Prize refers to something concrete offered as a reward of merit, or to be contested for and given to the winner: to win a prize for an essay. A recompense is something given or done, whether as reward or punishment, for acts performed, services rendered, etc.; or it may be something given in compensation for loss or injury suffered, etc.: Renown was his principal recompense for years of hard work. 3. compensate, pay, remunerate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unrewarded
Historical Examples
  • Then through her lips the last breath quivered in a deep-drawn sigh, and the brave, patient, unrewarded life passed out for ever.

  • There must have been a loss of economic power so that labor was unrewarded.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • If we shall be successful in awakening such an inquiry, we shall be content, and feel that our labors have not been unrewarded.

  • Had they ever reflected on the heroism of women, on their self-denying, unrewarded labour?

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • Many a shipwreck may possibly be prevented and many a life saved by his laborious and at present unrewarded exertions.

    The Last Voyage Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
  • For several minutes as they rushed from room to room the hunt was unrewarded.

  • Not unrewarded,” he said, “shall the praise be which thou hast bestowed on me: I give thee another half-talent of gold.

  • The wives of the farm are the unnamed, unrewarded heroines of the border.

  • Their first glance is unrewarded, but their second gives all they seek.

    The Lone Ranche Captain Mayne Reid
  • A firm belief in Providential support has not been unrewarded.

    Stanley in Africa James P. Boyd
British Dictionary definitions for unrewarded


not having received any reward or advantages


something given or received in return for a deed or service rendered
a sum of money offered, esp for help in finding a criminal or for the return of lost or stolen property
profit or return
something received in return for good or evil; deserts
(psychol) any pleasant event that follows a response and therefore increases the likelihood of the response recurring in the future
(transitive) to give (something) to (someone), esp in gratitude for a service rendered; recompense
Derived Forms
rewardable, adjective
rewarder, noun
rewardless, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old Norman French rewarder to regard, from re- + warder to care for, guard, of Germanic origin; see ward
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 unrewarded



mid-14c., "a regarding, heeding, observation," from Anglo-French and Old North French reward, back-formation from rewarder (see reward (v.)). Meaning "repayment for some service" is from late 14c. Sense of "sum of money in exchange for capture" is from 1590s.


c.1300 "to grant, bestow;" early 14c. "to give as compensation," from Old North French rewarder "to regard, reward," variant of Old French regarder "take notice of, regard, watch over," from re-, intensive prefix (see re-), + garder "look, heed, watch" (see guard (v.)). Originally any form of requital. A doublet of regard. Related: Rewarded; rewarding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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unrewarded in Medicine

reward re·ward (rĭ-wôrd')
The return for the performance of a behavior that is desired; a positive reinforcement.

re·ward' v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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