General English

  • noun money given to someone for work done or as a prize for finding something, or for information about something
  • verb to give someone money as a prize for finding something, or for doing something


  • verb to give a person something in return for effort or achievement

Information & Library Science

  • noun something given in return for doing a thing well


  • noun a payment given to someone who does a service such as finding something which has been lost or giving information about something

Origin & History of “reward”

Reward is ultimately the same word as regard, and indeed was originally used interchangeably with it. It came from rewarder, the Anglo-Norman version of Old French regarder, source of English regard. The modern meaning of reward, ‘recompense’, which goes back to the 14th century, presumably arose from the notion of ‘regarding’ someone with favour.