1. A consequence that happens to someone as a result of worthy or unworthy behavior: the rewards of exercise; the rewards of lying to your boss.
2. Money offered or given for some special service, such as the return of a lost article or the capture of a criminal.
3. A satisfying return on investment; a profit.
4. Psychology The return for performance of a desired behavior; positive reinforcement.
tr.v. re·ward·ed, re·ward·ing, re·wards
To give a reward to or for.
[Middle English, from Anglo-Norman, from rewarder, to take notice of : re-, intensive pref. (from Latin; see RE- + warder, to guard, watch over, of Germanic origin; see wer-3 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
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.