Definition of reward in English:



  • 1A thing given in recognition of one's service, effort, or achievement.

    ‘the holiday was a reward for 40 years' service with the company’
    ‘he's reaping the rewards of his hard work and perseverance’
    figurative ‘the emotional rewards of being a parent’
    • ‘The last shot of the film is a front-page photograph of the two women hand in hand, triumphantly waving their reward cheque in return for the recovery of the priceless Nefertiti earrings.’
    • ‘The system even provides students with computer games as rewards for effort and achievement.’
    • ‘Councillor Sultan Ali said other authorities were reaping the rewards of using counselling services with children.’
    • ‘Both employees received an all-expenses paid holiday to Barbados as a reward for their efforts.’
    • ‘Boyden remembers hearing that when Pegahmagabow returned to Canada, he was made a conquering hero before the promises of rewards for hard service evaporated.’
    • ‘As a reward for their efforts, the school was awarded Arts Mark Gold, a top award from the Arts Council, for its excellent provision in arts.’
    • ‘Although the only prize on offer at Olympia was an olive wreath, it is known that victors commonly received other more lucrative rewards when returning to their home city.’
    • ‘Good leaders create opportunities to provide rewards, recognition and thanks to staff members.’
    • ‘Gavin gets little treats as a reward for good behaviour.’
    • ‘At the same time, those who render meritorious service should be given due recognition with fitting rewards.’
    • ‘Since June I have visited many bases and units and have heard from many of you as to how we can do our jobs better, be better recognised for effort and enjoy suitable reward for service.’
    • ‘Three and four-day walks respectively, each provide rich rewards for efforts spent.’
    • ‘Despite the hard work, government service has its own rewards, says Yorac.’
    • ‘They gave her a red envelope with 100 New Taiwan dollars as both a traditional Chinese New Year gift and a reward for her good behaviour.’
    • ‘But I am now reaping the rewards of this effort in this trip.’
    • ‘We hope that both the students and their class heads enjoy this day away from the normal school routine, which is one of the rewards for good behaviour under the positive learning programme.’
    • ‘Efforts to reconfigure services will see as yet unspecified financial rewards for services that deliver.’
    • ‘The policy involves students getting rewards for good behaviour, culminating in a school trip to a theme park for all those who get the required number of credits.’
    • ‘Solomon Linda's descendants are still waiting for rewards and recognition for his talents.’
    • ‘Labour leader Councillor Stuart King argued for a competitive scheme in which estates would fight to recycle the most in return for financial rewards.’
    recompense, prize, prize money, winnings, purse, award, honour, decoration, profit, advantage, benefit, bonus, plus, premium
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    1. 1.1A fair return for good or bad behavior.
      ‘a slap on the face was his reward for his impudence’
      • ‘I know that working towards a PhD means sacrifices, and in my current position it feels that I have definitely sacrificed too much without getting the rewards in return.’
      • ‘The privacy and autonomy historically associated with the family is seen as a problem, something to be limited and doled out as a reward for appropriate behaviour.’
      • ‘They're not receiving their fair share of the rewards.’
      • ‘Failure to reap the rewards of what he considered his great talent led to increasingly expressionistic and exhibitionist art.’
      • ‘To support this requires a society in which all citizens are able to make a real commitment and receive a fair reward for that commitment.’
      • ‘Stand by the cairn and the reward is more than fair.’
      • ‘Pleasure is usually a reward for behaviour patterns that are good for survival and reproduction.’
      • ‘That challenge is however starting to reap rewards, with markets opening up for eco-friendly wool.’
      • ‘He was replaced in Switzerland by Salif Diao, who got his reward by returning to the starting line-up.’
      • ‘You've got to put in work before you reap the rewards - and fair enough.’
      • ‘These market-driven rewards are not fair or inevitable.’
      • ‘They deserve a fair reward for their labour, too.’
      • ‘He said new arrangements would aim to provide a fair reward for GPs providing medical cover.’
      • ‘In a report to the meeting, the panel says the current allowances, adding up to a total of £83,000-a-year, are not a fair reward for councillors.’
      • ‘Today, expulsion can be the reward for behaviour that one might have expected of clerical students in the past.’
      • ‘His rewards and returns were waiting in heaven for him!’
      • ‘Their success is the fair reward for the long hours of practice.’
      • ‘We believe collective licensing ensures that authors, artists and publishers receive a fair reward for the use of their works, while providing users with access to a wealth of published material.’
      • ‘Soames then took over the mantle and bowled the remaining 24 overs at the football field end and he gained his reward with a return of four for 58.’
      • ‘For this disinterested behaviour their reward has been a campaign of vilification and innuendo which has left both of them feeling angry and betrayed.’
      treatment, handling, service, reception
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    2. 1.2A sum offered for the detection of a criminal, the restoration of lost property, or the giving of information.
      • ‘It claims there have been 455 cases of vandalism, half of them in New York, and is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of workers.’
      • ‘Securicor are offering a reward for information leading to the capture of the robbers.’
      • ‘Despite several appeals, including the offer of a cash reward for information, police have not yet caught his killer or killers, although they say the net is closing in.’
      • ‘The Royal Bank of Scotland today offered a £15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the two robbers.’
      • ‘Lady DuBay offered fabulous rewards for any information regarding traitors.’
      • ‘Defenders is offering rewards for information leading to the conviction of the persons responsible for all of these acts.’
      • ‘There have been no arrests and police are set to offer a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators.’
      • ‘Police are offering rewards for any information about the vigilante, the hostage, or the robber.’
      • ‘Prior to passage of the law, a grey area existed where law enforcement officials offered rewards to members of crime organizations in exchange for tips on criminal activities.’
      • ‘The scheme, managed by Crimestoppers, will offer the cash rewards for information leading to charges for criminal damage.’
      • ‘Offering a cash reward to capture criminals is a good idea.’
      • ‘Securicor chiefs have offered the cash reward for information leading to the arrest of the thieves.’
      • ‘Several handsome rewards were offered for information leading to the arrest of the Monkey Man.’
      • ‘Surrey Police offered a reward for information leading to the arrest of Reed in January this year.’
      • ‘Last week police offered a R20000 reward for information leading to finding Liyabona.’
      • ‘He was hoping that the R5000 reward being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in the killings will bring witnesses forward.’
      • ‘The charge came just hours after Crimestoppers announced it was offering its biggest-ever reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killers.’
      • ‘Boodle & Dunthorne is also offering a £50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the criminals.’
      • ‘While Russia has offered rewards before for information on the rebels' whereabouts, the reward offered yesterday was by far the biggest yet.’
      • ‘Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for such information.’
      recompense, prize, prize money, winnings, purse, award, honour, decoration, profit, advantage, benefit, bonus, plus, premium
      View synonyms


  • 1 Make a gift of something to (someone) in recognition of their services, efforts, or achievements.

    ‘the engineer who supervised the work was rewarded with a bonus’
    • ‘Instead, I was rewarded with insight on how to read and understand baseball statistics.’
    • ‘Of course people are expected to do a fair amount of work but generally they are well rewarded and enjoy good working practices and conditions.’
    • ‘BoS reports that just four people in Bedfordshire were rewarded in the New Year honours list, all with MBEs.’
    • ‘I believe in public servants being rewarded for the jobs they do because, let's face it, it's work no one else wants.’
    • ‘Both these stories have a father and two sons and in both the younger son is received back into the family and rewarded.’
    • ‘He was rewarded with a performance that coach Mathias Ahrens would have preferred to have seen last week against Japan.’
    • ‘Put in simple terms, ‘good behaviour is rewarded and bad behaviour is punished’.’
    • ‘There are many brilliant planners out there who deserve to be rewarded and encouraged.’
    • ‘I think I deserve to be rewarded handsomely, and the weather forecast suggests that the omens are good.’
    • ‘If there was every a case for someone being rewarded for a lifetime of devotion it's the phenomenal Nathaniel Lofthouse.’
    • ‘Students were rewarded for their wonderful work at all kinds of major events.’
    • ‘And all too often, boys are only rewarded for how well they do at sport rather than for anything else they do.’
    • ‘Children were rewarded for raising money through a sponsored obstacle course last month, with a day of fun and frolics.’
    • ‘He feels very happy and believes the time he devotes is well spent because he is generously rewarded with love.’
    • ‘James was rewarded for his hard work, capturing the Senior Victor Ludorum title.’
    • ‘The three athletes were rewarded with a sight-seeing night out in London before travelling home the following day.’
    • ‘The presentation party welcomed 120 juveniles and their families to Carlow Town Hurling Club to reward a busy year for the club.’
    • ‘The first three people who came to the stage with photographs of their wives were rewarded with gift hampers.’
    • ‘He was rewarded with a title shot against the great Jack Dempsey in New York on September 14, 1923.’
    • ‘And since we are in the realm of myths and fairytales, she deserves to be rewarded.’
    recompense, pay, remunerate, give a bounty to, give a present to, make something worth someone's while, tip, honour, decorate, give an award to, recognize, requite
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    1. 1.1Show one's appreciation of (an action or quality) by making a gift.
      ‘an effective organization recognizes and rewards creativity and initiative’
      • ‘Glanbia Agribusiness wishes to highlight and reward the excellent quality of the malting barley supplied by its growers.’
      • ‘Therefore, I believe we have to reward investments in technology, we have to reward quality.’
      • ‘Light heavyweights don't typically win the overall because bodybuilding tends to reward size above all other physique parameters.’
      • ‘Packing was an occupation that rewarded innate qualities and paid little regard to status or civility.’
      • ‘Rather than simply rewarding kills, the system rewards the amount you heal your teammates, vehicles repaired, assists for kills, base defends… the list goes on.’
      • ‘Mr Fallon said IFA was fully committed to the introduction of a lamb quality assurance scheme which would properly reward producers for quality production.’
      • ‘And again unbalances the alleged reason for the awards… to reward quality, not hype.’
      • ‘Both see a system that doesn't reward quality, whether it's apples grown with Integrated Pest Management or tender lean beef.’
      • ‘That is not something the political process is designed to reward these days.’
      • ‘To help encourage people to have children, and to help them better afford quality childcare and to reward the investment they make in society, parents should be given a tax cut.’
      • ‘Set-pieces, potentially important at a venue which doesn't reward width, will be among the priorities when the squad gather in Hamilton tomorrow.’
      • ‘Texas cattle feeder Michael Bezner chuckles when he hears that Excel rewards quality beef with better prices.’
      • ‘In the short-term, the stock market will reward stocks, but Wednesday's Institute for Supply Management's gauge will look at manufacturing strength.’
      • ‘These are all reasons why some old varieties have fallen aside, doomed in a modern market place that seems to reward size, looks and shelf life.’
      • ‘Amid those campaigning for Maloney and Boyd, there are a sizeable number of players who would prefer to reward the goal tally and skills of Hearts' Rudi Skacel.’
      • ‘On top of that, the government rewards the years of income that a graduate has sacrificed to study by making HECS debt the first call on a graduate's income.’
      • ‘Still, insiders say that Perenchio rewards the good years with hefty bonuses, paying $30 million out of his own pocket three years ago.’
      • ‘Tactically, bear market rallies reward buyers of low quality stocks, which tend to be highly geared and react sharply to such short-lived momentum.’
      • ‘St Lucia will be on display for the cricketing world - a world that shuns mediocrity, that rewards quality and class.’
      • ‘The International Food And Beverage Creative Excellence Awards were set up six years ago to reward quality creative work done for clients in the food industry.’
    2. 1.2Receive what one deserves.
      ‘their hard work was rewarded by the winning of a five-year contract’
      • ‘The fans that have supported him during the recent bleak seasons deserved to be rewarded by a further six months.’
      • ‘In turn, it shows how religious values inspire behavior not rewarded by the market or state.’
      • ‘There has been a lot of teamwork and trust and that deserves to be rewarded by having new investment.’
      • ‘At the beach, she prayed to God, demanding that their faith be rewarded by the return of Bing.’
      • ‘Today, the discriminating traveller will still be well rewarded by a summer holiday in this area.’
      • ‘The ascent has to be achieved on the first day and is rewarded on the second day with a spectacular sunrise and panoramic view of Costa Rica.’
      • ‘He has been rewarded by healthy box-office returns in America, where the film opened last month.’
      • ‘In my opinion this sort of arrogance deserves to be rewarded by denying parole.’
      • ‘His inexperience as a racing driver is set to be rewarded on the show as he receives an award in the next couple of weeks.’
      • ‘If you guess right, you could well be rewarded by some handsome returns.’
      • ‘You could be rewarded by seeking more information before you take a chance.’
      • ‘Watsonians' resurgence was finally rewarded by a thoroughly deserved try by centre Colin Gregor.’
      • ‘Another advantage is that good behaviour is rewarded as permits that are not needed may be sold.’


  • go to one's (final) reward

    • Used euphemistically to indicate that someone has died.

      • ‘Generations had gone to their reward, or whatever, with the prayer, ‘We only wanted to see them win it once in our lifetime.’’
      • ‘But now with Mrs. Zweibel having gone to her reward, I feel much less amenable to these old storks coming around and delivering their sermons to me.’
      • ‘Jeez, maybe he had both lost his marbles and gone to his reward!’
      • ‘Milt Sparks may have gone to his reward, but Tony Kanaley and the rest of the Sparks crew continue to produce holsters that are excellent in design and truly fine in construction.’
      • ‘I was talking to an old friend the other day, and for some reason she began reminiscing about her grandmother, who has long since gone to her reward.’
      • ‘I'd say we're likely to go to our reward long before Clinton stops crowing, unless the clap gets him first.’
      • ‘Recently it was brought to my attention that the 121-year-old French-woman finally went to her reward.’
      • ‘I hope she does get another dog now that Papa's little Yorkie has gone to her reward or the house will bulge to the breaking point with boredom purchases.’
      • ‘When Ruble went to her reward, I figured there would never be a suitable replacement for her.’
      • ‘Could it be that T. Herman Zweibel is going to his reward at last?’


Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French, variant of Old French reguard regard, heed also an early sense of the English word.