Main definitions of prize in English

: prize1prize2



  • 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’
    • ‘I won 1st prize in a poetry contest with New York City as its theme.’
    • ‘The arts are well catered for also with an art department that has won many national prizes in art competitions.’
    • ‘A 12-year-old schoolgirl has won first prize in a national poster competition.’
    • ‘The Orkney Cheese Company has once again claimed a top prize in a prestigious competition in the UK.’
    • ‘I see from the cover of the book that it was shortlisted for this year's Orange prize for fiction.’
    • ‘Previous winners of the prestigious prize include Scots writers Christopher Brookmyre, Ian Rankin and Denise Mina.’
    • ‘You may not enter photographs taken by other people or photographs that have won prizes in other photography competitions.’
    • ‘He was also good at extra-curricular activities and had won prizes at various competitions.’
    • ‘Students from all over the State can participate in the annual competitions and win prizes and shields.’
    • ‘Actual Nobel Prize winners award prizes to the winning researchers.’
    • ‘An awards ceremony closed the event, where several trophies and prizes were presented to outstanding individual and team winners.’
    • ‘For World Book Day in March, John presented prizes to the competition winners in the library.’
    • ‘They award a valuable cash prize to a prominent female scientist.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At twenty-eight, he won the prize of the tragedy competition, with his first entry.’
    • ‘As regional winner, the firm scooped a selection of prizes worth £6,000.’
    • ‘Talented young artists have captured Keighley's best features to scoop top prizes in an art competition.’
    • ‘She has won prizes in over 100 competitions, including one conducted by a Swiss international aviation institute.’
    • ‘Emily also collected a fourth placed prize in the contest's group two poetry category.’
    award, reward, premium
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A 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’
      • ‘This particular game of chance had a first-to-third prize for three players.’
      • ‘Tickets are €3 each with a cheese and wine reception, door prize and a later raffle for valuable prizes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And the jackpot, the second biggest unclaimed prize in Lottery history, looks set to go to good causes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Full of prizes, games, exhibits, refreshments, and activities for children, the open house event was catered to every age.’
      • ‘Anyone aged over 16 can take part in the lottery, giving them the chance of winning big money prizes and also contributing to the hospice through a regular payment.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Thanks are due to Ambiance Hotel and BBB for the trophies, prize money and main raffle prizes.’
      • ‘The grand first prize is a vacation package for a couple in Malaysia sponsored by the country's national carrier.’
      • ‘The Santa Maria Bazaar and Grand Raffle await you with tasty foods, games, prizes and many surprises.’
      • ‘All those who register will go into a prize draw and BT has donated an X-box games console as a prize.’
      • ‘As usual the ladies committee served a beautiful tea and the lucky winners of raffle prizes were well rewarded for their investments.’
      • ‘A raffle with donated prizes contributed to the amount raised.’
      • ‘Thanks also to their many sponsors who donated raffle spot prizes.’
      • ‘A great night is guaranteed with party games and spot prizes.’
      • ‘Those selecting the winning moment will be entered in a random drawing for a grand prize of $1,000.’
      • ‘The first four draws include a 1st prize of a Nissan Micro car and valuable cash prizes.’
      • ‘The raffle also took place during the break and there were prizes galore.’
      • ‘The E-Spades site offers social and tournament games, which can be played free or for money prizes.’
    2. 1.2 Something of great value that is worth struggling to achieve:
      ‘the prize will be victory in the general election’
      • ‘But Inchon also had some features that convinced MacArthur that the prize was worth the risk.’
      • ‘Despite these hurdles, all of the 59 speakers, like the pioneer cable guys, were adamant that the prize was worth the battle.’
      • ‘She sprang from nowhere to capture the highly lucrative prize of teen Hollywood.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Since oil accounts for half the Venezuelan government's revenue, it's the prize in a protracted struggle for power.’
      • ‘It was a protective measure, to keep his face hidden, for if the enemy knew what he looked like, then he would be a sure target, a prize to be captured for a good price.’
      • ‘If he can help John take the throne, his prize will be the Chancellorship.’
      • ‘Both parties wanted the ultimate prize of freedom, peace and prosperity.’
      • ‘We may strive for something for many years and yet find that the prize is not worth the having.’
      • ‘Afghanistan became a central prize in the struggles between the British Empire and Czarist Russia in the 19th century.’
      • ‘Was this idea of reclaiming the throne more dangerous than the prize was worth?’
      • ‘The German efforts were unrelenting, as they were looking for a major coup - and PQ17 was the prize.’
      • ‘He's different, special; a prize Helena has awarded herself.’
  • 2historical An enemy ship captured during the course of naval warfare:

    ‘the sloop had been taken as a prize’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


  • 1[attributive] Having been or likely to be awarded a prize in a competition:

    ‘a prize bull’
    • ‘So, if you fancy the idea of a prize bull on the lawn or your very own flock of sheep - give him a ring.’
    • ‘The prize stallion is missing, believed to be somewhere in Europe.’
    • ‘His single shot dropped the prize bull in its tracks.’
    • ‘His task for the day was to take his employer's prize bull to a neighbouring farm, in the next valley, for breeding purposes.’
    • ‘Congratulations to all prize winners and all who participated.’
    • ‘Eating good food with family and friends is one of the joys of Christmas and if you want to make sure your tastebuds are given a treat over the festive period then why not enter our competition for a prize pudding?’
    • ‘People spent days grooming and bathing prize cows and bulls to show at the fair.’
    • ‘As a teenager, he took his father's prize animals to the fair.’
    • ‘A more sophisticated photographer might put the prize bull, the man leading it and the little girl holding her doll who sits on its back into a more imaginative conjunction.’
    • ‘It's not unlike a 4-H competition of prize heifers, except the women weigh less and get to go to fancy resorts.’
    • ‘Club chairman, Seamus Quinn, presented all prize winners with a selection of Waterford Crystal.’
    • ‘A prize Japanese bull has been cloned from skin cells scraped from its own ear.’
    • ‘It looks awfully like standing at the gate, staring out into the paddock, wondering where the prize stallion has gone.’
    • ‘U.S. farmers and ranchers are also plunking down thousands of dollars to duplicate prize bulls, cows, and pigs.’
    champion, award-winning, prize-winning, winning, top, top-class, top-tier, first-class, first-rate, choice, quality, select, best
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Denoting something for which a prize is awarded:
      ‘a prize crossword’
      • ‘The results of the President's prize competition were announced after the two weekly sessions of play.’
      • ‘Austrian legislation prohibited publishers from including such prize competitions in their papers.’
      • ‘Although the terms of the prize competition did not require it, he had chosen to fly solo, which of course added to the luster of his accomplishment.’
      • ‘With these publications will come some great prize competitions and reader offers.’
      • ‘The Outback is also holding a free prize draw for all competition entrants and will be giving away 150 meal vouchers.’
      • ‘Advice from ICSTIS is that, unless you have specifically requested details of a competition or prize offer, you do not respond.’
      • ‘To encourage voting there will be an excellent prize draw for children.’
      • ‘Founded in 1957, the Prize Bonds draw is Ireland s longest-running prize draw.’
      • ‘Photographers are being challenged to link past and present in a prize competition organised by Cumbria County Council.’
      • ‘About 600 guests flocked to the Knavesmire Stand at York Racecourse for the glittering event with live bands, discos, food, casinos and prize competitions.’
      • ‘A D & G Jackalin Crystal Watch and two Hot Diamonds Tiffany box sets are up for grabs in our free prize draw competition.’
      • ‘Local pride in the academies grew as prize competitions drew the attention of many who lived far away.’
      • ‘Last year the winner completed the prize crossword in just six minutes.’
      • ‘In addition to the funding awards, a prize draw for two marshals to go to a World Rally Championship event in 2005 is being run again this year.’
      • ‘The next outing is at Killorglin on Saturday May 29th and it is the captain's prize competition.’
      • ‘The game will commence at 8.30 pm and will include an excellent prize raffle.’
      • ‘The questionnaires will be entered into a prize draw at the end of August.’
      • ‘The Evening Press teamed up with Turnbulls Mazda, of Layerthorpe, York for what was one of our biggest prize competitions.’
      • ‘The Académie des Sciences in Paris announced its prize competition for 1764 in 1762.’
      • ‘The agency this year unveiled Centennial Challenges, a prize program inspired by the Ansari X Prize and similar competitions.’
    2. 1.2 Excellent of its kind; outstanding:
      ‘a prize example of how well organic farming can function’
      • ‘Archibald's prize asset might have completed his hat-trick moments later but for an uncharacteristic lapse in control.’
      • ‘Sunday's appearance was a vital first step towards full match fitness for the Bulls' prize off-season signing Logan Swann.’
      • ‘The principal had a very positive memory of his prize pupil.’
      • ‘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.’
      outstanding, excellent, superlative, superb, supreme, very good, prime, fine, magnificent, marvellous, wonderful
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 Complete; utter:
      ‘you must think I'm a prize idiot’
      • ‘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.’
      utter, complete, total, absolute, real, perfect, positive, veritable
      View synonyms


  • Value extremely highly:

    ‘the berries were prized for their healing properties’
    ‘the bicycle was her most prized possession’
    • ‘Some fully-grown carp, prized by anglers, can be sold for up to £5,000 by poachers.’
    • ‘Citizenship should be prized and celebrated, with the proviso that it is not always as desirable as it sounds.’
    • ‘Horses in the Middle East are prized possessions and give their owners a lot of status.’
    • ‘Innocence is a prized and overtly moral concept in North American society.’
    • ‘This controversial dish, much prized by Hebrideans, makes a rare foray south.’
    • ‘Southeast Queensland is justly prized for its superb beaches, rivers and lush hinterland.’
    • ‘Asparagus is native to the northern Mediterranean and was as prized by the Greeks and Romans as it is by food lovers today.’
    • ‘Some tinamous are hunted for their meat, which is prized for its tenderness and flavor.’
    • ‘Memories are to be prized but not relied upon for they are always undermined by the imagination.’
    • ‘At the time when tulips were rare prized possessions, they were often shown off in the knot garden.’
    • ‘A champagne that was clearly well connected to royalty would be especially prized.’
    • ‘The silver fox ranges from strong silver to nearly black and is the most prized by furriers.’
    • ‘Emu eggs have long been prized for carving and decorating because of their large size and tough green shell.’
    • ‘Check the copyright page and make sure the book is a first edition, which is more prized.’
    • ‘The French are famous for scorning ersatzness while prizing the organic, the natural, the authentic.’
    • ‘It was once the best trout river in Britain, prized by anglers for the size of its fish.’
    • ‘Watercolors of traditional village scenes by the late Charlie Gibbons are highly prized.’
    • ‘Look, in the Army, nothing is prized more than the ability to hold ground once you take it.’
    • ‘Peregrine falcons taken from the wild in Scotland are strong birds which are highly prized.’
    • ‘Associative communal memory is something that is prized very highly by cultures the world over.’
    treasured, precious, valued, cherished, much loved, beloved
    value, place a high value on, set 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
    View synonyms


  • (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!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The regulated rouble price of oil was about $2 a barrel and an export permit turned that into $20 or so; no prizes for guessing how export permits came to be procured.’
      • ‘If you've read our bios, there will be no prizes for guessing who the straight man is this week.’
      • ‘I've managed to sneak in a little winter break and there are no prizes for guessing the television was the first port of call after we landed at our hotel last Tuesday.’
      • ‘There are no prizes for guessing who the government was trying to please with that particular manoeuvre.’
      • ‘On ‘This Life’, she contemplates suicide, convinced that men always leave (and there are no prizes for guessing why that is).’
      • ‘There are no prizes for guessing, of course, that the Tories dispute all this.’
      • ‘Certainly, there were no prizes for guessing Serena and Venus would again be meeting each other in the final.’
      • ‘Hmm… no prizes for guessing what dominates the floor space inside this ultra-cool Parisian imbibery.’


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).




Main definitions of prize in English

: prize1prize2