Awed vs odd

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Awed and odd are commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the different meanings of the homophonic words awed and odd, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Awed means to feel overwhelming reverence, to feel dumbstruck, to be astounded or overcome with wonder. Awed is an adjective or the past tense of the verb awe; related words are awes, awing. The word awed is derived from the Old English word egan, which means terror or fear.

Odd means unusual, strange, different from, unexpected. An odd number is one with 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9 as the last digit. Odd is an adjective; the comparative form is odder, the superlative form is oddest, the adverb form is oddly. The word odd is derived from the old Norse word oddi, which means the third or additional number.


So despite the circumstances that surround us, take a moment to be “awed” and transcend the common disposition of the day. (Caspar Star Tribune)

Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude, who died in 2009, awed the world for decades with their monumental sculptures and installations. (Asbury Park Press)

As member photo-graphs are presented, without revealing the name of the photographer, the Sauciers will offer their feedback on each photograph’s composition, lighting, clarity, creativity and how well the image conveys the theme “Odd Pairings.” (The Transylvania Times)

Attorneys for Tucson are asking the Arizona Supreme Court to void a 2018 law that seeks to force the city to scrap its odd-year elections. (Arizona Capitol Times)

Enjoyed reading about this homophone? Check out some others we covered: