Difference Wiki

Amazing vs. Awesome: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on November 18, 2023
"Amazing" refers to something that astonishes or causes wonder, while "Awesome" denotes something that inspires awe or admiration.

Key Differences

Amazing and Awesome are both adjectives that express high praise and admiration. While "Amazing" often points towards something that causes astonishment or great surprise, "Awesome" leans more towards expressing a sense of reverence, admiration, or even fear at times.
The root word of Amazing is "amaze," which means to fill with wonder or astonishment. On the other hand, "Awesome" originates from "awe," which implies a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.
Over time, the use of Amazing and Awesome has evolved, especially in casual conversation. Today, both words are frequently used to show appreciation or to describe something impressive. However, "Awesome" might carry a slightly more intense or grand connotation than "Amazing."
In historical or traditional contexts, Awesome was often used to describe something that inspired awe due to its grandeur, power, or beauty, possibly creating a sense of intimidation. "Amazing," meanwhile, has consistently been associated with surprise and wonder, without necessarily implying intimidation.
Grammatically speaking, Amazing and Awesome can be used interchangeably in many contexts without altering the meaning significantly. Yet, choosing one over the other can add subtle nuances to the sentiment being expressed, depending on the situation.

Comparison Chart

Root Word

Amaze (to astonish)
Awe (reverential respect with fear or wonder)

Primary Emotion

Astonishment or surprise
Reverence or admiration


Often milder in intensity
Can be more grand or intense

Historical Connotation

Consistently tied to wonder
Often tied to grandeur or intimidation

Modern Colloquial Usage

Frequently used for appreciation
Commonly used to describe impressive things

Amazing and Awesome Definitions


Outstanding or unique.
His talent on the piano is truly Amazing.


Remarkable and noteworthy.
His achievements are genuinely Awesome.


Causing great surprise or wonder.
The magician's tricks were Amazing.


Very good; excellent.
The concert last night was Awesome.


Astonishingly impressive.
The view from the mountaintop was Amazing.


Causing a sense of wonder.
The vastness of the universe is Awesome.


Hard to believe; remarkable.
Her recovery was nothing short of Amazing.


Inspiring awe
An awesome thunderstorm.


To affect with great wonder; astonish.


Expressing awe
Stood in awesome silence before the ancient ruins.


(Obsolete) To bewilder; perplex.


(Slang) Remarkable; outstanding
"a totally awesome arcade game" (Los Angeles Times).


To cause great wonder or astonishment
A sight that amazes.


(dated) Causing awe or terror; inspiring wonder or excitement.
The waterfall in the middle of the rainforest was an awesome sight.
The tsunami was awesome in its destructive power.


Amazement; wonder.


(colloquial) Excellent, exciting, remarkable.
That was awesome!
Awesome, dude!


Present participle of amaze


(slang) nodot=a: the quality, state, or essence of being awesome.
Pure awesome
Made of awesome


Causing wonder and amazement; very surprising.


Causing awe; appalling; awful; as, an awesome sight.


(informal) Possessing uniquely wonderful qualities; very good.


Expressive of awe or terror.
An awesome glance up at the auld castle.


Causing amazement; very wonderful; as, amazing grace.


Inspiring awe or admiration or wonder;
New York is an amazing city
The Grand Canyon is an awe-inspiring sight
The awesome complexity of the universe
This sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath
Westminster Hall's awing majesty, so vast, so high, so silent


Surprising greatly;
She does an amazing amount of work
The dog was capable of astonishing tricks


Inspiring a feeling of admiration or respect.
The Grand Canyon is an Awesome sight.


Inspiring awe or admiration or wonder;
New York is an amazing city
The Grand Canyon is an awe-inspiring sight
The awesome complexity of the universe
This sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath
Westminster Hall's awing majesty, so vast, so high, so silent


Extremely impressive or daunting.
The power of nature can be Awesome.


Eliciting a feeling of admiration.
The dedication of the volunteers was Amazing.


Can "Awesome" imply something intimidating?

Historically, yes. "Awesome" could describe something grand or intimidating.

Are "Amazing" and "Awesome" synonyms?

They're close in meaning but have subtle differences based on awe and astonishment.

Is "Amazing" always positive?

Mostly, but context matters. Something unbelievably tragic could be "amazing" in its scope.

Can I use "Amazing" to describe a person?

Absolutely! It can mean the person is impressive or causes wonder.

Which word is more casual: "Amazing" or "Awesome"?

Both are casual, but "Awesome" might be more prevalent in informal American slang.

Does "Amazing" always indicate surprise?

Often, but not always. It broadly means something is impressive or remarkable.

Can an "Awesome responsibility" be a burden?

Yes, it implies a significant, possibly daunting, responsibility.

Does "Awesome" only refer to good things?

While often positive, "Awesome" can describe anything grand or overwhelming, good or bad.

Does "Amazing" have roots outside of English?

It originates from the Middle English word "amasen" (to astonish).

What's the "Awesome Eighties"?

It's a colloquial term for the 1980s, emphasizing its remarkable or cool aspects.

Is "Awesome" religious in origin?

It has been used in religious contexts to describe awe-inspiring deities or events.

Is "Awesome" a 20th-century term?

It's been in use longer but gained popularity in the late 20th century.

Can "Awesome" be used sarcastically?

Definitely. Like saying "Awesome" when something inconvenient happens.

Is "Amazing" overused in modern language?

Some believe it is, especially in casual conversation, diminishing its impact.

What's an "Awesome display of power"?

It means a significant, potentially intimidating show of strength or capability.

Can "Awesome" describe a sensation?

Yes, like feeling "Awesome joy" or "Awesome trepidation."

Is "Amazing" stronger than "Impressive"?

It might imply more astonishment, but they're similar in strength.

Can you be "Amazing at a skill"?

Yes. E.g., "She is Amazing at playing the guitar."

How do "Amazing" and "Astonishing" differ?

They're close in meaning, but "Astonishing" might imply a higher degree of surprise.

Can I use "Amazing" for taste?

Yes. E.g., "The cake tasted Amazing."
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons