emeritus

noun
emer·​i·​tus | \ i-ˈmer-ə-təs How to pronounce emeritus (audio) \
plural emeriti\ i-​ˈmer-​ə-​ˌtī How to pronounce emeritus (audio) , -​ˌtē \

Definition of emeritus

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person retired from professional life but permitted to retain as an honorary title the rank of the last office held

emeritus

adjective

Definition of emeritus (Entry 2 of 2)

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?

In Latin, emeritus was used to describe soldiers who had completed their duty. It is the past participle of the verb emereri, meaning "to serve out one's term," from the prefix e-, meaning "out," and merēre, "to earn, deserve, or serve." (Merēre is also the source of our word merit.) English speakers claimed emeritus as their own in the late 17th century, applying it as both a noun and an adjective referring or relating not to soldiers but to someone who is retired from professional life but permitted to keep as an honorary title the rank of the last office they held. The adjective is frequently used postpositively—that is, after the noun it modifies rather than before it—and it is most commonly used to describe specifically those retired from a professorship.

Examples of emeritus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Expect about 40 meteors per hour, but during particularly intense storms, viewers may see as many as 120 per hour, said Andrew Fraknoi, the emeritus chair of the astronomy department at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills. Gwendolyn Wu, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 July 2022 This is more of an emeritus nomination since Eagles fans really aren't that bad now. Mike Freeman, USA TODAY, 20 May 2022 France risks breaking the 2002 record of non-voters, which reached 28% in the whole of France, according to Jean Chiche, emeritus researcher at the SciencesPo Center for Political Research. Ibtissem Guenfoud, ABC News, 11 Apr. 2022 Although the new study is small, there are messages women can take from it, said Nancy Reame, the emeritus Mary Dickey Lindsay professor of health promotion and risk reduction in the Columbia University School of Nursing. NBC News, 8 Mar. 2022 An emeritus general authority’s recent defense of the nuclear family is stirring debate in the Mormon blogosphere. David Noyce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 June 2021 More recently, Norman Ornstein, an emeritus scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, proposed an even bolder plan: a $10 million lottery, into which each vaccinated adult would be entered once the country reaches 70% vaccine coverage. Jamie Ducharme, Time, 5 May 2021 An emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a specialist in Russian music, Mr. Taruskin was the author of a number of groundbreaking musicological studies, including the sweeping six-volume Oxford History of Western Music. William Robin, BostonGlobe.com, 2 July 2022 An emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a specialist in Russian music, Mr. Taruskin was the author of a number of groundbreaking musicological studies, including the sweeping six-volume Oxford History of Western Music. William Robin, BostonGlobe.com, 2 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of emeritus

Noun

1692, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1693, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for emeritus

Adjective

Latin, past participle of emereri to serve out one's term, from e- + mereri, merēre to earn, deserve, serve — more at merit entry 1

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Time Traveler for emeritus

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The first known use of emeritus was in 1692

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Cite this Entry

“Emeritus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emeritus. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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Britannica English: Translation of emeritus for Arabic Speakers

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