1

honor

noun hon·or \ ˈä-nər \
Updated on: 13 Dec 2017

Definition of honor

1 a : good name or public esteem : reputation
b : a showing of usually merited respect : recognition
  • pay honor to our founder
2 : privilege
  • had the honor of joining the captain for dinner
3 : a person of superior standing now used especially as a title for a holder of high office
  • if Your Honor please
4 : one whose worth brings respect or fame : credit
  • an honor to the profession
5 : the center point of the upper half of an armorial escutcheon
6 : an evidence or symbol of distinction: such as
a : an exalted title or rank
b (1) : badge, decoration
(2) : a ceremonial rite or observance
  • buried with full military honors
c : an award in a contest or field of competition
d archaic : a gesture of deference : bow
e honors plural
(1) : an academic distinction conferred on a superior student
(2) : a course of study for superior students supplementing or replacing a regular course
7 : chastity, purity
  • fought fiercely for her honor and her life
  • —Barton Black
8 a : a keen sense of ethical conduct : integrity
  • a man of honor
b : one's word given as a guarantee of performance
  • on my honor, I will be there
9 honors plural : social courtesies or civilities extended by a host
  • asked her to do the honors
10 a (1) : an ace, king, queen, jack, or ten especially of the trump suit in bridge
(2) : the scoring value of honors held in bridge usually used in plural
b : the privilege of playing first from the tee in golf

Examples of honor in a Sentence

  1. Many of the Persians, despite belonging to the Barbarian Other, come off with honor and dignity in his pages, even during the final narrative of Xerxes' invasion. —Peter GreenNew York Review of Books15 May 2008
  2. Whoever footed the bill, the episode gave Marsh a taste of the grand life she yearned for. Presiding at balls in her honor and making entrances at lavish picnics were distinctions she could never have dreamed of back home. —Edmund S. Morgan et al.New York Review of Books27 Sept. 2007
  3. "As I was saying," he said, smiling at the sea of students before him, all of whom were still gazing transfixed at Mad-Eye Moody, "we are to have the honor of hosting a very exciting event over the coming months, an event that has not been held for over a century." —J. K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire2000
  4. These people deserve to be treated with honor.

  5. The team brought honor to the school.

  6. The building was named in honor of the city's founder.

  7. He was prepared to fight to defend his family's honor.

  8. She has a keen sense of honor.

  9. He would not do it as a matter of honor.

  10. He's a man of honor.

  11. It was an honor to be invited.

Recent Examples of honor from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of honor

Middle English, from Anglo-French onur, honur, from Latin honos, honor

Synonym Discussion of honor

honor, homage, reverence, deference mean respect and esteem shown to another. honor may apply to the recognition of one's right to great respect or to any expression of such recognition.
    • the nomination is an honor
homage adds the implication of accompanying praise.
    • paying homage to Shakespeare
reverence implies profound respect mingled with love, devotion, or awe.
    • great reverence for my father
deference implies a yielding or submitting to another's judgment or preference out of respect or reverence.
    • showed no deference to their elders

synonyms see in addition honesty

Other Forms of Address Terms


2

honor

verb hon·or \ ˈä-nər \

Definition of honor

honored; honoring play \ˈä-nə-riŋ, ˈän-riŋ\
transitive verb
1 a : to regard or treat (someone) with admiration and respect : to regard or treat with honor
b : to give special recognition to : to confer honor on
2 a : to live up to or fulfill the terms of
  • honor a commitment
b : to accept as payment
  • honor a credit card
3 : to salute with a bow in square dancing

honoree

play \ˌä-nə-ˈrē\ noun

honorer

play \ˈä-nər-ər\ noun

Examples of honor in a Sentence

  1. Cape Ann, an hour's drive north of Boston, is far sleepier than the famous elbow that bounds the southern reach of Massachusetts Bay.  … There aren't any schmaltzy songs about my granite cape, which was named to honor a queen, thank you very much. —Anita DiamantNational Geographic TravelerSeptember 2005
  2. But by talking with hikers and trail builders in the years since, and tracing the history these stone piles carry with them, I would learn that cairns are more than just interesting curiosities. I would discover that cairns honor the dead, save lives, mark boundaries, protect vegetation, claim territory, and reflect the seasons. —Barbara Claire KasselmannAMC OutdoorsMay 1999
  3. Ricketts left for Mexico to study typhus in July of that year, where it killed him in 1910 at the age of thirty-nine. To honor his memory, the organisms that cause typhus and sundry spotted fevers were dubbed rickettsia in 1916. —Wayne BiddleA Field Guide to Germs1995
  4. "Elegant Attire is a tradition in the Saratoga Clubhouse," says a sign outside the clubhouse. "Ladies and gentlemen who continue to honor this tradition (e.g., dresses, suits or sport jackets) are always appreciated." It is not easy to arbitrate good taste, particularly when the temperature is soaring toward the 90's on a humid day. —George VecseyNew York Times21 Aug. 1994
  5. When we got married, we promised to love and honor each other.

  6. We were honored with the queen's presence.

  7. She has been honored by several organizations for her charitable works.

  8. We need to find an appropriate way to honor these brave people.

  9. They have established a scholarship as a way to honor his memory.

  10. They are accused of failing to honor their debts.

Recent Examples of honor from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of honor

see 1honor

Other Dance Terms


HONOR Defined for English Language Learners

honor

noun

Definition of honor for English Language Learners

  • : respect that is given to someone who is admired

  • : good reputation : good quality or character as judged by other people

  • : high moral standards of behavior


honor

verb

Definition of honor for English Language Learners

  • : to regard or treat (someone) with respect and admiration : to show or give honor to (someone)

  • : to show admiration for (someone or something) in a public way : to give a public honor to (someone or something)

  • : to do what is required by (something, such as a promise or a contract)


HONOR Defined for Kids

1

honor

noun hon·or \ ˈä-nər \

Definition of honor for Students

1 : good character as judged by other people : reputation
2 : outward respect : recognition
  • The dinner is in honor of the new coach.
3 : privilege 1
  • You will have the honor of leading the parade.
4 used especially as a title for an official of high rank
  • Please welcome His Honor, the mayor.
5 : a person whose character and accomplishments bring respect or fame
  • You are an honor to your profession.
6 : evidence or a symbol of great respect
  • She's won many national honors.
7 : high moral standards of behavior He's a man of honor.

2

honor

verb

Definition of honor for Students

honored; honoring
1 : 2respect 1
  • Honor your parents.
2 : to recognize and show admiration for publicly
  • He was honored at a special ceremony.
3 : to live up to or fulfill the requirements of
  • She didn't honor her promise.

Law Dictionary

honor

transitive verb hon·or

legal Definition of honor

honored; honoring
1 : to accept and pay
  • the bank honored the check
2 : to purchase or discount (a draft) in compliance with a letter of credit


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up honor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

of or relating to dancing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!