1. A feeling of respect or reverence mixed with dread and wonder, often inspired by something majestic or powerful: "There was a fierce purpose in the gale ... that seemed directed at him, and made him hold his breath in awe" (Joseph Conrad).
a. The power to inspire dread.
tr.v. awed, aw·ing, awes
To fill with awe: tourists who are awed by the ancient monument.
[Middle English aue, from Old Norse agi.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.