Awe is a feeling of fear that is mixed with respect and wonder. You might gaze at the Grand Canyon with awe, marveling at its beauty and fearing its depth.

Awe dates back to Middle English, and was borrowed from Old Norse, a Scandinavian language. In Middle English the word referred to intense fear. The related English word awful originally meant "full of or causing intense fear." And awesome, which originally meant "inspiring awe" now is used generally as a synonym for excellent.

Definitions of awe

n an overwhelming feeling of wonder or admiration

“he stared over the edge with a feeling of awe
Type of:
admiration, wonder, wonderment
the feeling aroused by something strange and surprising

n a feeling of profound respect for someone or something

fear, reverence, veneration
Type of:
any strong feeling

v inspire awe in

“The famous professor awed the undergraduates”
cow, overawe
subdue, restrain, or overcome by affecting with a feeling of awe; frighten (as with threats)
intimidate or overawe
Type of:
affright, fright, frighten, scare
cause fear in

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