an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like:
in awe of God; in awe of great political figures.
Archaic. power to inspire fear or reverence.
Obsolete. fear or dread.
to inspire with awe.
to influence or restrain by awe.
Historical Examples

Nevertheless he paraded the Tory remainder of it, doubtless with the intention of awing the entire county.
The Little Red Foot Robert W. Chambers

His voice was low, in an awing, confident contrast with the headlong emphasis of his movements.
End of the Tether Joseph Conrad

But these creations have an awing beauty; they keep an unattainable distance and height.
The Galaxy, April, 1877 Various

Seven days after the first brood were awing, I found the new eggs in the nest.
The Spring of the Year Dallas Lore Sharp

They are ever on the move, afoot or awing; and during these three weeks of junketing, the unique courtship is carried on.
Life Histories of North American Shore Birds, Part 1 (of 2) Arthur Cleveland Bent

Oft Scyld the Scefing from squadroned foes, from many a tribe, the mead-bench tore, awing the earls.
Beowulf Anonymous

For the first time he saw the awing vastness of the desert, and the soft pastel shades which made their desolation beautiful.
‘Me-Smith’ Caroline Lockhart

Goold Brown has most disingenuously insinuated that the great success of my Grammar is awing wholly to extrinsic circumstances.
The Knickerbocker, Vol. 10, No. 4, October 1837 Various

“It is my father,” said she, still standing in the way and awing him by the power of her beauty.
Harper’s New Monthly Magazine Vol. IV, No. 19, Dec 1851 Various

The ball seemed for a time as if it were awing forever, and would fall to the ground no more.
The Frontiersmen Charles Egbert Craddock

overwhelming wonder, admiration, respect, or dread
(archaic) power to inspire fear or reverence
(transitive) to inspire with reverence or dread

“action of inspiring with awe,” 1650s, verbal noun from awe (v.).

c.1300, earlier aghe, c.1200, from a Scandinavian source, e.g. Old Norse agi “fright;” from Proto-Germanic *agiz- (cf. Old English ege “fear,” Old High German agiso “fright, terror,” Gothic agis “fear, anguish”), from PIE *agh-es- (cf. Greek akhos “pain, grief”), from root *agh- “to be depressed, be afraid” (see ail). Current sense of “dread mixed with veneration” is due to biblical use with reference to the Supreme Being. Awe-inspiring is recorded from 1814.

c.1300, from awe (n.); Old English had egan (v.). Related: Awed; awing.


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