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)

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 The tools for fighting inflation reside at the Federal Reserve, and there’s no dishonor in Biden acknowledging that. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 11 Jan. 2022 Eventually, one woman is seized with a fit of honor and the other with a fit of dishonor, which puts Stan’s hubristic plans at risk. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 17 Dec. 2021 To paraphrase Winston Churchill, sacrificing Ukraine to keep Europe’s unstable equilibrium would be to choose dishonor without necessarily preventing war. Christopher A. Hartwell, WSJ, 10 Dec. 2021 Remember when there was such a thing as shame, and a senator who was caught flying to Cancún while his constituents were literally dying might have resigned so as not to bring further dishonor upon the world’s greatest deliberative body? Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 27 Oct. 2021 The figure known to scare kids received the dishonor in a survey this month from Quality Logo Products Blog. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 26 Aug. 2021 The roll of dishonor was started by Sean McGregor, who works as a machine learning engineer at voice processor startup Syntiant. Tom Simonite, Wired, 3 June 2021 State Republican lawmakers Kurt Daudt and Paul Gazelka are comparing apples to oranges by trying to link the protests after the death of George Floyd last summer to the dishonor that was exhibited to our nation last Wednesday. Star Tribune, 14 Jan. 2021 Their statement brings dishonor to the court and tarnishes the reputation of the judicial system. Arkansas Online, 15 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To do nothing while free speech is imperiled is to ensure a tragedy that will dishonor every patriot who has sacrificed for us. WSJ, 20 Oct. 2021 Biden must not dishonor their grace and patriotism. Fox News Staff, Fox News, 6 Sep. 2021 The organizational capital that propelled TSMC to the top of global chip production is all but impossible to replicate in a country where IP is readily stolen and firms are liable to dishonor contracts. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, 30 July 2021 From my perspective, falsehoods dishonor the organizations that PR agencies represent and go against everything PR stands for. Warren H. Cohn, Forbes, 10 May 2021 But officials have said the project does not seek to dishonor the nearly 200 Alamo defenders. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, 9 Mar. 2021 Harris said no other decision would dishonor and disrespect Ginsburg's legacy than overturning Roe v. Wade. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, 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.,, 24 Sep. 2020 Do not dishonor them by clashing against each other. New York Times, 9 Aug. 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

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

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Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dishonor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for dishonor



English Language Learners Definition of dishonor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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)

: 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)
: 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


transitive verb

Legal Definition of dishonor (Entry 2 of 2)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on dishonor

Nglish: Translation of dishonor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dishonor for Arabic Speakers


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