AskDefine | Define guerdon

Dictionary Definition

guerdon n : a reward or payment

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


From Old French guerdon, from Proto-Romance and mediaeval Latin widerdonum, from West Germanic ( > Old English wiþerlēan), literally ‘again-payment’, with the second element assimilated to Latin donum ‘gift’.


  • /ˈgɜ:dən/


  1. italbrac now literary A reward, prize or recompense for a service; an accolade.


  1. To give such a reward to.

Usage notes

Guerdon was the winning word at the 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Extensive Definition

A prize is an award given to a person or a group of people to recognise and reward actions or achievements. Official prizes often involve monetary rewards as well as the fame that comes with them. Some prizes are also associated with extravagant awarding ceremonies, such as the Oscars.
Prizes are given for a number of reasons: to highlight noteworthy or exemplary behaviour, and to provide incentives in competitions, etc. In general, prizes are regarded in a positive light, and their winners are admired. However, many prizes, especially the more famous ones, have often caused controversy and jealousy.
Specific types of prizes include:
  • First prize, second prize, third prize etc.
  • Consolation prize: an award given to those who do not win an event but are deserving of recognition. (See also: parting gift)
  • Booby prize: typically awarded as a joke or insult to whoever finished last. See wooden spoon (award).
  • Purchase prize or acquisition prize: a monetary prize given in an art competition in exchange for the winning work.

See also

guerdon in Spanish: Premio
guerdon in Esperanto: Premio
guerdon in Croatian: Odlikovanja
guerdon in Dutch: Prijs (winnen)
guerdon in Polish: Nagroda
guerdon in Simple English: Prize
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