Definition of medal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmɛd(ə)l/


A metal disc typically of the size of a large coin and bearing an inscription or design, made to commemorate an event or awarded as a distinction to someone such as a soldier or athlete.
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.
honour, decoration, ribbon, star, order, badge, pin, laurel, wreath, palm, colours, insignia, plaque, award, trophy
military slang fruit salad
British informal gong

verb (medals, medalling, medalled; US medals, medaling, medaled)

1 [no object] Win a medal in a sporting event: they medalled in all the relay events
More example sentences
  • Freshman Deary should also be able to help with the distance events, having medaled at senior nationals in the 400 meter free.
  • I medaled in all six of my events, and I almost captured the gold in the 200 meter backstroke, missing by just 1-tenth of a second.
  • She and her teammates brought home a bronze medal in the team event, and she medalled on vault (bronze).
1.1 [with object] (often as adjective medalled) Decorate or honour with a medal: the most medalled athlete in Britain
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: /mɪˈdalɪk/
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

Line breaks: medal

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