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Award vs. Commendation: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
An "award" is a prize or honor given for an achievement, while a "commendation" is a formal statement of praise or recognition.
Award vs. Commendation

Key Differences

An "award" typically refers to a tangible recognition such as a trophy, certificate, or medal given for excellence in a certain field. A "commendation", however, is often a formal statement or written expression of praise, usually for an act of bravery, service, or professional merit.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023
Awards often come with public recognition and sometimes monetary prizes, symbolizing achievement in competitions, artistic endeavors, or academic fields. Commendations, while also recognizing achievement or service, usually emphasize the honoring of moral, ethical, or professional conduct and are often used in military, civic, or organizational contexts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023
The process of receiving an award often involves a nomination and selection by a panel or committee, reflecting a competitive or evaluative aspect. In contrast, commendations are usually given based on observed merit or exemplary behavior and may not involve a competitive process.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023
Awards are frequently associated with specific events, like ceremonies or competitions, highlighting exceptional performance or achievement in a distinct area. Commendations, while they can be presented in formal settings, often serve as official acknowledgments of consistent or notable contributions over time.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023
While both awards and commendations are forms of recognition, the former is often seen as a more tangible accolade for specific achievements, and the latter as a formal acknowledgment of commendable behavior or service.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Nature

Tangible recognition (trophy, medal, certificate)
Formal statement or expression of praise
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Dec 04, 2023

Context

Competitions, arts, academics
Military, civic, professional conduct
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Dec 04, 2023

Associated Elements

Often includes public recognition, sometimes monetary prizes
Emphasizes moral, ethical, or professional conduct
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Process of Receiving

Nomination and selection, competitive aspect
Based on observed merit, non-competitive
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Dec 04, 2023

Occasion of Presentation

Specific events, ceremonies
Formal settings, but can be more informal acknowledgments
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Award and Commendation Definitions

Award

A legal judgment, such as in arbitration.
The court’s award was in favor of the plaintiff.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Commendation

An official acknowledgment of someone's contribution.
The mayor's commendation highlighted her community service.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Award

A monetary grant given for a specific purpose.
He was thrilled to receive an award to fund his project.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Commendation

Formal praise or recognition for an action or behavior.
The soldier received a commendation for bravery.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Award

A token or symbol of recognition in a competition.
The athlete was proud to wear her gold medal award.
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Commendation

An accolade for ethical, moral, or professional conduct.
The officer’s commendation was for his integrity and dedication.
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Dec 04, 2023

Award

To grant as merited or due
Awarded prizes to the winners.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Commendation

Recognition for notable service or achievement.
His years of research earned him a commendation from the scientific community.
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Dec 04, 2023

Award

To grant an amount or other benefit legally due
Awarded damages to the plaintiff.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Commendation

The act of commending.
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Oct 19, 2023

Award

Something awarded or granted, as for merit.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Commendation

Something, especially an official award or citation, that commends.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Award

An amount or other benefit granted as legally due.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Commendation

The act of commending; praise; favorable representation in words; recommendation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Award

(legal) A judgment, sentence, or final decision. Specifically: The decision of arbitrators in a case submitted.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Commendation

That which is the ground of approbation or praise.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Award

(legal) The paper containing the decision of arbitrators; that which is warded.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Commendation

A message of affection or respect; compliments; greeting.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Award

A trophy or medal; something that denotes an accomplishment, especially in a competition. A prize or honor based on merit.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Commendation

An award or recognition for performance; a medal.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Award

A negotiated minimum wage that is set for a particular trade or industry; an industrial award.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Commendation

The act of commending; praise; favorable representation in words; recommendation.
Need we . . . epistles of commendation?
By the commendation of the great officers.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Award

(intransitive) To determine; to make or grant an award.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Commendation

That which is the ground of approbation or praise.
Good nature is the most godlike commendation of a man.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Award

(transitive) To give (an award).
Four or five of these medals are awarded every year.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Commendation

A message of affection or respect; compliments; greeting.
Hark you, Margaret;No princely commendations to my king?
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Award

(transitive) To give (a person) an award.
He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Commendation

An official award (as for bravery or service) usually given as formal public statement
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Award

To give by sentence or judicial determination; to assign or apportion, after careful regard to the nature of the case.
The arbitrators awarded damages to the complainant
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Commendation

A message expressing a favorable opinion;
Words of approval seldom passed his lips
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Award

To give by sentence or judicial determination; to assign or apportion, after careful regard to the nature of the case; to adjudge; as, the arbitrators awarded damages to the complainant.
To reviewThe wrongful sentence, and award a new.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Commendation

A statement or certificate praising a person's actions.
The organization issued a commendation for her volunteer work.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Award

To determine; to make an award.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Award

A judgment, sentence, or final decision. Specifically: The decision of arbitrators in a case submitted.
An award had been given against.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Award

The paper containing the decision of arbitrators; that which is warded.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Award

A grant made by a law court;
He criticized the awarding of compensation by the court
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Award

A tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction;
An award for bravery
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Award

Something given for victory or superiority in a contest or competition or for winning a lottery;
The prize was a free trip to Europe
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Award

Give, especially as a reward;
Bestow honors and prizes at graduation
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Award

Give on the basis of merit;
Funds are granted to qualified researchers
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Oct 19, 2023

Award

Bestow an honor upon
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Oct 19, 2023

Award

A prize given for an achievement.
She received an award for her groundbreaking research.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Award

An honor or recognition for excellence.
The film won several awards at the international festival.
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Dec 04, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Do awards always involve a physical object?

Often, but not always; they can also include titles or monetary grants.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Can commendations be given posthumously?

Yes, commendations can be awarded posthumously.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Can anyone receive an award?

Yes, if they meet the criteria set by the awarding body.
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Dec 04, 2023

Are commendations always formal?

Typically, yes, they are formal recognitions of merit or service.
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Dec 04, 2023

Can organizations give awards?

Yes, organizations, institutions, and committees often give awards.
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Dec 04, 2023

Do awards always involve a selection process?

Typically, there is a selection or evaluation process for awards.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Is a commendation considered an honor?

Yes, it's an honor recognizing someone's commendable actions or service.
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Dec 04, 2023

Can a commendation be withdrawn?

Generally, commendations are not withdrawn.
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Dec 04, 2023

Can an award be given to a group?

Yes, awards can be given to individuals or groups.
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Dec 04, 2023

Are awards given for artistic achievements only?

No, awards can be given in various fields, including science, sports, and more.
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Dec 04, 2023

Are commendations common in the corporate world?

Yes, commendations are used to acknowledge employees' contributions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Do commendations have to be public?

While often public, they can also be private acknowledgments.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Is an award legally binding?

Not usually, though legal awards in arbitration are binding.
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Dec 04, 2023

Are awards taxable?

Some awards, especially monetary ones, may be subject to taxation.
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Dec 04, 2023

Are commendations always written statements?

Mostly, but they can also be verbal or symbolized by a certificate.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Can one receive multiple commendations?

Yes, individuals can receive multiple commendations for different actions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Do awards recognize long-term contributions?

Some do, while others recognize specific achievements or projects.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Can commendations lead to career advancement?

They can positively impact one's reputation and career prospects.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Do awards always come from professional bodies?

No, they can come from a variety of sources, including community groups.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Is a commendation the same as a recommendation?

No, a commendation is formal praise, while a recommendation is an endorsement or suggestion.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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