dis·​hon·​or | \ (ˌ)dis-ˈä-nər How to pronounce dishonor (audio) also (ˌ)diz- \

Definition of dishonor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : lack or loss of honor or reputation
2 : the state of one who has lost honor or prestige : shame has brought dishonor on his family
3 : a cause of disgrace
4 : the nonpayment or nonacceptance of commercial paper by the party on whom it is drawn


dishonored; dishonoring; dishonors

Definition of dishonor (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to treat in a degrading manner
b : to bring shame on
2 : to refuse to accept or pay (something, such as a bill or check)

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Other Words from dishonor


dishonorer \ (ˌ)dis-​ˈän-​ər-​ər How to pronounce dishonor (audio) also  (ˌ)diz-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for dishonor


disgrace, dishonor, disrepute, infamy, ignominy mean the state or condition of suffering loss of esteem and of enduring reproach. disgrace often implies humiliation and sometimes ostracism. sent home in disgrace dishonor emphasizes the loss of honor that one has enjoyed or the loss of self-esteem. preferred death to life with dishonor disrepute stresses loss of one's good name or the acquiring of a bad reputation. a once proud name fallen into disrepute infamy usually implies notoriety as well as exceeding shame. a day that lives in infamy ignominy stresses humiliation. the ignominy of being arrested

Examples of dishonor in a Sentence

Noun warriors who choose death before dishonor He is afraid that his confession will bring dishonor on the family. Verb She dishonored her oath of office. The bank dishonored my check.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Their statement brings dishonor to the court and tarnishes the reputation of the judicial system. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | OTHERS SAY: Marriage law must stand," 15 Nov. 2020 Historically, suicide was seen in Japan as a way to escape shame and dishonor, while seeking psychological help was stigmatized. Washington Post, "Japan and South Korea see surge of suicides among young women, raising new questions about pandemic stress," 29 Nov. 2020 Thus taking one’s dishonor forward into all eternity. George Saunders, The New Yorker, "Ghoul," 2 Nov. 2020 But Trump’s style and his substance are intertwined—something that was abundantly clear in the second debate, a vicious cavalcade of dishonor and dishonesty. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "In Memoriam: The Trump Pivot," 22 Oct. 2020 Florida, for once, could be a clarion of clarity on the night of Nov. 3 or the next day — and other states could get the dishonor of leaving the presidential results unknown for days, weeks or even months. Anthony Man,, "Could Florida, for once, be a beacon of clarity on Election Night? Or will it be just another cluster of chaos?," 9 Oct. 2020 According to the Tax Foundation, Arkansas has the second highest combined state and local sales taxes in the country at 9.53 percent--quite the dishonor. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | JOSHUA M. SILVERSTEIN: Say no to a terrible new tax," 4 Oct. 2020 But Saturday’s 52-10 loss to the Hurricanes will go down in history as one of the Seminoles’ worst performances ever, and there have been a growing number of candidates for that dishonor over the last handful of years. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Texas Tech's late-game implosion gives it easy case for top spot in Misery Index," 28 Sep. 2020 The removal of monuments and relics of the Confederacy, and other vestiges of slavery and national dishonor, is proceeding at an unprecedented pace and scale, historians say. Washington Post, "Four principles to guide us on whose statues should topple and whose should remain," 21 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Harris said no other decision would dishonor and disrespect Ginsburg's legacy than overturning Roe v. Wade. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "'You have the power': Kamala Harris urges voters to oppose Trump, Senate GOP over Supreme Court nominee," 29 Sep. 2020 No word on whether Trump's blatant attempts to dishonor the dying wishes of a Supreme Court justice and cast doubt on her family's story is considered appalling or disrespectful, however. Photo: Alex Edelman/afp/getty Images.,, "“Vote Him Out”: A Crowd Heckled Trump While He Visited Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Casket," 24 Sep. 2020 Do not dishonor them by clashing against each other. New York Times, "An Empty Parking Lot, Filled by El Paso’s Grief," 9 Aug. 2019 To forgive would dishonor her pain and her children’s. Antonia Farzan, Washington Post, "Stories of forgiveness," 20 Dec. 2019 To treat that as something of lesser value than personal fame, is really to dishonor him and the players. Ronald Blum,, "Long bypassed, union leader Marvin Miller elected to Baseball Hall of Fame by modern committee; Simmons in, too," 8 Dec. 2019 The president has been rightly excoriated for these pardons, which dishonor the U.S. military and may degrade good order and discipline. Gil Barndollar, Twin Cities, "Gil Barndollar: Endless wars are corrupting our military and distracting the U.S. from bigger global threats," 12 Dec. 2019 Disrespecting the warbonnet is a grievous wrong and dishonors the likes of all who earned them with pride, like Sitting Bull and Rain-in-the-Face. Ruth Hopkins, Teen Vogue, "Celebrating Native American Heritage Month: Dos and Donts," 12 Nov. 2019 He was accused of personal and political betrayal and of dishonoring US sacrifices to liberate France in World War II. Stephen Collinson And Caitlin Hu, CNN, "Meanwhile in America: "A corrupt human tornado"," 27 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dishonor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dishonor


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for dishonor


Middle English dishonour, from Anglo-French deshonur, from des- dis- + honur honor

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Time Traveler for dishonor

Time Traveler

The first known use of dishonor was in the 13th century

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Statistics for dishonor

Last Updated

17 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dishonor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for dishonor


How to pronounce dishonor (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dishonor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

somewhat formal : loss or lack of honor : damage to your reputation and loss of respect from other people



English Language Learners Definition of dishonor (Entry 2 of 2)

somewhat formal
: to cause (someone or something) to lose honor : to cause (someone or something) to no longer be respected
: to fail to do what is required by (a promise, contract, etc.) : to fail to honor (something)
of a bank : to refuse to give out the money promised by (a check)


dis·​hon·​or | \ dis-ˈä-nər How to pronounce dishonor (audio) \

Kids Definition of dishonor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : loss of honor or good name He felt retreat would bring dishonor.
2 : a cause of disgrace Her failure was a family dishonor.


dishonored; dishonoring

Kids Definition of dishonor (Entry 2 of 2)

: to bring shame on : disgrace He dishonored his parents.



Legal Definition of dishonor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: refusal on the part of the issuer (as a bank) to pay or accept commercial paper (as a check) when it is presented — see also wrongful dishonor

Legal Definition of dishonor (Entry 2 of 2)

: to refuse to pay or accept a bank dishonoring the checks for insufficient funds

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