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prize 1 (prīz)
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n.
1.
a. Something offered or won as an award for superiority or victory, as in a contest or competition.
b. Something offered or won in a lottery or similar game of chance.
2. Something worth striving for; a highly desirable possession.
adj.
1. Offered or given as a prize: a prize cup.
2. Given a prize, or likely to win a prize: a prize cow.
3. Worthy of a prize; first-class: our prize azaleas.
tr.v. prized, priz·ing, priz·es
1. To value highly; esteem or treasure. See Synonyms at appreciate.
2. To estimate the worth of; evaluate.

[Alteration of Middle English pris, value, price, reward; see PRICE.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
prize 2 (prīz)
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n.
Something seized by force or taken as booty, especially an enemy ship and its cargo captured at sea during wartime.

[Alteration of Middle English prise, from Old French, from feminine past participle of prendre, from Latin prehendere, prēndere, to seize; see ghend- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
prize 3 also prise (prīz)
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tr.v. prized, priz·ing, priz·es also prised or pris·ing or pris·es
To move or force with a lever; pry: prized open the antique chest.
n.
Chiefly Southern US Something used as a lever or for prying.

[From Middle English prise, instrument for prying, probably from prise, the taking of something; see PRIZE2.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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