An award is something given to a person, a group of people, like a sports team, or an organization in recognition of their excellence in a certain field.[1][2] An award may be accompanied by trophy, title, certificate, commemorative plaque, medal, badge, pin, or ribbon. An award may carry a monetary prize given to the recipient. For example: the Nobel Prize for contributions to society, or the Pulitzer prize for literary achievements. An award may also simply be a public acknowledgment of excellence, without any tangible token or prize of excellence.


Awards can be given by any person or institution, although the prestige of an award usually depends on the status of the awarder. Usually, awards are given by an organization of some sort, or by the office of an official within an organization or government.[3] For instance, a special presidential citation (as given by the President of the United States) is a public announcement giving an official place of honor (e.g., President Ronald Reagan gave a special presidential citation in 1984 to the Disney Channel for its excellent children's television programming.)

However, there are exceptions like some quality labels, for which it is neither person nor organizations that are rewarded, but products. This is the case for the World Quality Selections organized by Monde Selection. These international awards are assigned to beverages, foods, cosmetics and diet products, which stand out for their quality.[4]

People who have won certain prestigious awards, such as the Nobel Prize, a championship title in a sport, or an Academy Award (Oscar), can have the award become their identity, thereafter being known primarily for winning the award, rather than for any other achievement or occupation.[citation needed] To distinctly be categorized as an 'Award', rather than some other type of ceremonial or arbitrary recognition, there should be a clear process of nominations, award criteria, and appropriate judging process. Generally, recognition by a set of peers, acknowledging quality of work, rather than a 'popularity contest' is considered to be an authentic award. Some prestigious and authentic awards include:

One common type of award in the United States is the Employee of the Month award, where typically the recipients' names are listed in a prominent place in the business for that month.

Mock awards, which typically recognize failures or atypical achievements, are also popular.[13] They are usually given by people and organizations of lower or average prestige, such as comical organizations and individual writers. Popular mock awards include:

  • Golden Raspberry Awards (Razzies), a satirical counterpart to the Academy Award which recognizes the worst acting, screenwriting, songwriting, directing, and films that the film industry had to offer
  • Ig Nobel Prize, a satirical counterpart to the Nobel Prize, given for achievements that "first make people laugh, and then make them think."
  • Darwin Awards, "given to people who seem to improve the human gene pool by accidentally killing or sterilizing themselves during a foolish or careless mistake."

A common mock award is the wooden spoon, given to an individual or team which has come last in a competition. A more common "last place," mock award is the Half Fast award; most often the trophy given for this award is the back half of horse figure.

Some awards are given only after a fee is paid by the recipient, such as the German Design Award.

  • The Kentucky Derby Trophy is an award worth $70,000 with an estimated 1000 man hours of labor.

Honorable mention

An honorable mention is an award, prize or recognition given to something that does not make it to a higher standing but is worth mentioning in an honorable way.


States may also use awards such as medals and orders of merit to honour their citizens. These awards usually form part of a system honouring people and is often refers to as an honours system.

See also


  1. ^ "Definition of award in English". English Oxford Living Dictionaries. Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  2. ^ "Meaning of "award" in the English Dictionary". Cambridge Dictionary. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  3. ^ "The Honours System". GOV.UK. UK Government. Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  4. ^ "Our Mission". Monde Selection. Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  5. ^ Palermo, Elizabeth. "Golden Globe Creator Eyes the Prize All Year Long". businessnewsdaily.com. Business News Daily. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  6. ^ Palermo, Elizabeth. "Golden Globe Creator Eyes the Prize All Year Long". businessnewsdaily.com. Business News Daily. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  7. ^ Palermo, Elizabeth. "Golden Globe Creator Eyes the Prize All Year Long". businessnewsdaily.com. Business News Daily. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  8. ^ King, Ted. "Famous awards made at Grove, Oklahoma". pryordailytimes.com. Pryor Daily Times. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  9. ^ Dotiwala, Jasmine. "Asian Awards show Global Power Take Over". huffingtonpost.co.uk. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  10. ^ Knight, Meribah. "Why the manufacturer of the Oscars doesn't like how the story ends". chicagobusiness.com. Chicago Business. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "Nigeria Safety Award for Excellence (9jaSAFE)". awards.safetyrecordng.com. Safety Record Newspaper company. Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  12. ^ "Africa Leadership Award, Africa". lemauricien.com. Le Mauricien. Retrieved 22 April 2017. 
  13. ^ Ken Bensinger (2006-12-14). "The Bogies: Radar nominates the most bogus awards in America". Radar Online. Archived from the original on 2007-06-03. Retrieved 2007-06-07. 

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