First Known Use of emeritus
Simple Definition of emeritus
: retired with an honorary title from an office or position especially in a university
Full Definition of emeritus
1 : holding after retirement an honorary title corresponding to that held last during active service
2 : retired from an office or position <professor emeritus> —converted to emeriti after a plural <professors emeriti>
Did You Know?
The adjective emeritus is unusual in two ways: it's frequently used postpositively (that is, after the noun it modifies), and it has a plural form—emeriti—when it modifies a plural noun in its second sense. If you've surmised from these qualities that the word is Latin in origin, you are correct. Emeritus, which is the Latin past participle of the verb emereri, meaning "to serve out one's term," was originally used to describe soldiers who had completed their duty. (Emereri is from the prefix e-, meaning "out," and merēre, meaning "to earn, deserve, or serve"—also the source of our English word merit.) By the early 18th century, English speakers were using emeritus as an adjective to refer to professors who had retired from office. The word eventually came to be applied to other professions where a retired member may continue to hold a title in an honorary capacity.
Origin of emeritus
Latin, past participle of emereri to serve out one's term, from e- + mereri, merēre to earn, deserve, serve — more at merit
First Known Use: 1794
Learn More about emeritus
Britannica English: Translation of "emeritus" for Arabic speakers
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