AskDefine | Define accolade

Dictionary Definition

accolade n : a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction; "an award for bravery" [syn: award, honor, honour, laurels]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • RP:
    • /'ækəleɪd/


From accolade, from Provençal acolada, from accolata, from accollare to embrace, from ad- + collum "neck".


  1. An expression of approval; praise.
  2. A special acknowledgment; an award.
  3. A salutation marking the conferring of knighthood, consisting of an embrace or a kiss, and a slight blow on the shoulders with the flat of a sword.
  4. A brace used to join two or more staves.
  5. (American Military) Written Presidential certificate recognizing service by personnel who died or were wounded in action between 1917 and 1918, or who died in service between 1941 and 1947, or died of wounds received in Korea between June 27, 1950 and July 27, 1954. Service of civilians who died overseas or as a result of injury or disease contracted while serving in a civilian capacity with the United States Armed Forces during the dates and/or in areas prescribed is in like manner recognized.


An expression of approval; praise
A special acknowledgment; an award
A salutation marking the conferring of knighthood
(music) A brace used to join two or more staves
(American Military) Written Presidential certificate


  1. To embrace or kiss in salutation.
  2. To confer an knighthood on.



  1. (punctuation) bracecurly bracket



From Provençal acolada, from accolata, from accollare to embrace, from ad- + collum "neck".



fr-noun f
  1. curly bracket (brace)
  2. accolade (knights)
  3. embrace

See also

Extensive Definition

In the Middle Ages, the accolade was the central act in the rite-of-passage ceremonies conferring knighthood.


The accolade is a ceremony to confer knighthood that may take many forms including, for example, the tapping of the flat side of a sword on the shoulders of a candidate or an embrace about the neck

Promotion steps

The process of becoming a knight generally included these stages:
  • Page — A child started training at about the age of seven or eight, learning obedience, manners, and other skills.
Accolade is akin to "dubbing" or "to dub"
Clergy receiving a knighthood are not dubbed. The use of a sword in this kind of a ceremony is believed to be inappropriate.
From about 1852, the meaning of "accolade" was extended to mean "praise" or "award" or "honor."
seealso Feudalism


  • Bloch, Marc: Feudal Society, tr. Manyon London:Rutledge, Keagn Paul (1965)
  • Boulton, D'Arcy Jonathan Dacre. The Knights of the Crown: The Monarchical Orders of Knighthood in Later Medieval Europe, 1325-1520. 2d revised ed. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2000.
  • Keen, Maurice; Chivalry, Yale University Press 1984, ISBN 0300031505
  • Robards, Brooks; The Medieval Knight at War, UK: Tiger Books, 1997, ISBN 1855019191


accolade in German: Ritterschlag
accolade in French: Adoubement
accolade in Russian: Акколада (церемония)
accolade in Dutch: Ridderslag
accolade in Polish: Pasowanie na rycerza

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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