Definition of medal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmedl/


A metal disk with an inscription or design, made to commemorate an event or awarded as a distinction to someone such as a soldier, athlete, or scholar.
Example sentences
  • Pope John Paul II has awarded a medal of distinction to a Sutton woman who has given her life to the service of the church, the young and the needy.
  • The show garden section has been expanded, and the event awarded its own medals for the first time this year.
  • This week her work was recognised when she was awarded the prestigious medal of the Order of Mercy from the League of Mercy.
decoration, ribbon, star, badge, laurel, palm, award;

verb (medals, medaling, medaled; also chiefly British medals, medalling, medalled)

1 [no object] Earn a medal, especially in an athletic contest: Norwegian athletes medaled in 12 of the 14 events
More example sentences
  • Holland have only medalled three times at the world outdoor championships.
  • The three people who made the team are very good athletes and they all are capable of medalling for us in Athens.
1.1 [with object] (often as adjective medaled) Decorate or honour with a medal: the most medaled swimmer in Olympics history
More example sentences
  • Lipa consolidated her place as the most medalled Olympic rower with eight, and also became the first female rower to win five golds, having taken her first in Los Angeles back in 1984.



Pronunciation: /məˈdalik/
Example sentences
  • The Sloane model seems to be intimately connected with a rare medal of Doria, which has been described as ‘perhaps the most beautiful’ of all his medallic portraits.
  • A member of our own Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment received medallic recognition of his acts of bravery in saving members of his own platoon.
  • The Thomason Medallic Bible is a set of sixty medals struck in 1830 that captures the essence of the entire Holy Bible in medallic art.


Late 16th century: from French médaille, from Italian medaglia, from medieval Latin medalia 'half a denarius', from Latin medialis 'medial'.

  • Medal goes back to medieval Latin medalia ‘half a denarius’, there being little difference in appearance between a coin and a medal. Medallion dates from the mid 17th century and originally meant ‘a larger medal’.

Words that rhyme with medal

backpedal, heddle, meddle, pedal, peddle, treadle

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: med·al

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