See also: příze


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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English prise, from Old French prise (a taking, capture, a seizure, a thing seized, a prize, booty, also hold, purchase), past participle of prendre (to take, to capture), from Latin prendere (to take, seize); see prehend. Compare prison, apprise, comprise, enterprise, purprise, reprisal, surprise, etc.



prize (plural prizes)

  1. That which is taken from another; something captured; a thing seized by force, stratagem, or superior power.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, London: William Ponsonbie, Book 4, Canto 4, p. 54,[1]
      [] wherefore he now begunne
      To challenge her anew, as his owne prize,
      Whom formerly he had in battell wonne,
  2. (military, nautical) Anything captured by a belligerent using the rights of war; especially, property captured at sea in virtue of the rights of war, as a vessel.
    • 1724, Charles Johnson, “Of Captain Avery, and His Crew”, in A General History of the Pyrates, [], 2nd edition, London: Printed for, and sold by T. Warner, [], OCLC 2276353, page 51:
      Having taken all the Treasure on Board their own Ships, and plundered their Prize of every Thing elſe they either wanted or liked, they let her go; ſhe not being able to continue her Voyage, returned back: []
  3. An honour or reward striven for in a competitive contest; anything offered to be competed for, or as an inducement to, or reward of, effort.
  4. That which may be won by chance, as in a lottery.
    • 1928, Weston Jarvis, Jottings from an Active Life, London: Heath Cranton, p. 256,[3]
      Cecil Rhodes [] was never tired of impressing upon one that the fact of being an Englishman was “the greatest prize in the lottery of life,” and that it was that thought which always sustained him when he was troubled.
  5. Anything worth striving for; a valuable possession held or in prospect.
  6. (obsolete) A contest for a reward; competition.
  7. A lever; a pry; also, the hold of a lever.
    Synonym: prise
Usage notesEdit

Do not confuse with price.

Derived termsEdit
Terms derived from prize
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English prysen, borrowed from Old French priser (to set a price or value on, esteem, value), from pris (price), from Latin pretium (price, value), whence price; see also praise, a doublet. Compare appraise, apprize.


prize (third-person singular simple present prizes, present participle prizing, simple past and past participle prized)

  1. To consider highly valuable; to esteem.
  2. (obsolete) To set or estimate the value of; to appraise; to price; to rate.
  3. To move with a lever; to force up or open; to prise or pry.
  4. (obsolete) To compete in a prizefight.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 3Edit

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)


prize (not comparable)

  1. Having won a prize; award-winning.
    a prize vegetable
  2. first-rate; exceptional
    He was a prize fool.

Etymology 4Edit

Alternative forms.


prize (plural prizes)

  1. Obsolete form of price. [16th–19th c.]
    • 1777, Joshua Reynolds, in John Ingamells, John Edgcumbe (eds.), The Letters of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Yale 2000, p. 69:
      My prizes – for a head is thirty five Guineas – As far as the Knees seventy – and for a whole-length one hundred and fifty.

Further readingEdit