There are 2 main definitions of prize in English:

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prize 1

Pronunciation: /prʌɪz/


1A thing given as a reward to the winner of a competition or in recognition of an outstanding achievement: her invention won first prize in a national contest
More example sentences
  • The arts are well catered for also with an art department that has won many national prizes in art competitions.
  • A Redhill schoolboy won a national prize for an outstanding performance in his Spanish GCSE this year.
  • A long-serving organiser of blood donor sessions has won a national prize in recognition of her hard work.
award, reward, premium;
trophy, cup, medal, plate, shield;
jackpot, bonanza, purse, winnings, sweepstake
informal pot
dated garland
archaic guerdon
Biblical  prey
1.1A thing, especially an amount of money or a valuable object, that can be won in a game of chance: the star prize in the charity raffle [as modifier]: prize money
More example sentences
  • Punters can also instantly win €25,000 on scratch cards as well as lots of smaller cash prizes and the chance to appear on the weekly game show.
  • Now is the time to get your tickets for the monthly community draw and be in with a chance to get your hands on some great money prizes.
  • The Crossmaglen girl scooped the prize of a large amount of money last week when the political party held their draw in Newry Sports centre.
1.2Something of great value that is worth struggling to achieve: the prize will be victory in the general election
More example sentences
  • For a good few minutes the poor pigeon struggled with his measly prize, nibbling at it in earnest, each peck accidentally flinging it over his head and way behind him.
  • We may strive for something for many years and yet find that the prize is not worth the having.
  • Despite these hurdles, all of the 59 speakers, like the pioneer cable guys, were adamant that the prize was worth the battle.
2chiefly historical An enemy ship captured during the course of naval warfare: the sloop had been taken as a prize
Late Middle English: from Old French prise 'taking, booty', from prendre 'take'
More example sentences
  • The Admiralty bought what it could, used war prizes and added war-damaged ships, anything that would float long enough to be towed into position.
  • Many ships were taken as prizes by awaiting interlopers and pirates, and much of the booty spilled into the seas during swash buckling raids.
  • The doctrine which exempts coast fishermen, with their vessels and cargoes, from capture as prize of war, has been familiar to the United States from the time of the War of Independence.


1Having been or likely to be awarded a prize in a competition: a prize bull
More example sentences
  • U.S. farmers and ranchers are also plunking down thousands of dollars to duplicate prize bulls, cows, and pigs.
  • Congratulations to all prize winners and all who participated.
  • The prize stallion is missing, believed to be somewhere in Europe.
1.1Denoting something for which a prize is awarded: a prize crossword
More example sentences
  • The Outback is also holding a free prize draw for all competition entrants and will be giving away 150 meal vouchers.
  • Last year the winner completed the prize crossword in just six minutes.
  • The game will commence at 8.30 pm and will include an excellent prize raffle.
1.2Excellent of its kind; outstanding: a prize example of how well organic farming can function
More example sentences
  • The beaker in front of the first pitcher is a prize example of Anthony Rasch's New Orleans work, about 1825 to 1835.
  • As a prize example of creating new species by natural selection, these finches leave very much to be desired.
  • Sunday's appearance was a vital first step towards full match fitness for the Bulls' prize off-season signing Logan Swann.
outstanding, excellent, superlative, superb, supreme, very good, prime, fine, magnificent, marvellous, wonderful
informal great, terrific, tremendous, fantastic, top-notch, A1
1.3Complete; utter: you must think I’m a prize idiot
More example sentences
  • Pierre thinks he's found a prize idiot in Pignon.
  • With him, as always, is a prize idiot from the Baldrick clan - this time a particularly unpleasant army private, serving as Blackadder's batman.
British informal right, bloody
Australian/New Zealand informal fair
archaic arrant


[with object]
Value extremely highly: the berries were prized for their healing properties (as adjective prized) the bicycle was her most prized possession
More example sentences
  • Horses in the Middle East are prized possessions and give their owners a lot of status.
  • At the time when tulips were rare prized possessions, they were often shown off in the knot garden.
  • The French are famous for scorning ersatzness while prizing the organic, the natural, the authentic.
value, set/place a high value on, set great store by, rate highly, attach great importance to, esteem, hold in high regard, think highly of, treasure, cherish, hold dear, appreciate greatly


(there are) no prizes for guessing

Used to convey that something is obvious: there’s no prizes for guessing what you two have been up to!
More example sentences
  • On ‘This Life’, she contemplates suicide, convinced that men always leave (and there are no prizes for guessing why that is).
  • Well, there are no prizes for guessing which category I'm in.
  • Only Scotland and England play in Rome so there are no prizes for guessing which match the French coach is targeting for a win.


Middle English: the noun, a variant of price; the verb (originally in the sense 'estimate the value of') from Old French pris-, stem of preisier 'to praise, appraise' (see praise).

  • price from Middle English:

    The medieval word pris, which was from Old French, meant not only ‘price’ but also ‘prize’ and ‘praise’. Over time these three meanings split into three different words. Pris became price, and the meaning ‘praise’ started to be spelled preise and then praise. Originally simply an alternative way of spelling price, prize too became a separate word. The Latin original of the French was pretiem ‘price’ which also lies behind appreciate (mid 18th century), and the related appraise (mid 16th century) and apprize (mid 16th century), all with the basic sense of ‘set a price to’; depreciate (mid 17th century); and precious (Middle English).

Words that rhyme with prize

advise, apprise, apprize, arise, assize, capsize, chastise, comprise, demise, despise, devise, downsize, excise, flies, guise, incise, low-rise, misprize, outsize, previse, prise, remise, revise, rise, size, surmise, surprise, uprise, wise
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There are 2 main definitions of prize in English:

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prize 2


US spelling of prise.
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