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

Definition of honor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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 officeif 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
(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
8a : 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
10a(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


hon·​or | \ ˈä-nər How to pronounce honor (audio) \
honored; honoring\ ˈä-​nə-​riŋ How to pronounce honoring (audio) , ˈän-​riŋ \

Definition of honor (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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
2a : 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

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Other Words from honor


honoree \ ˌä-​nə-​ˈrē How to pronounce honoree (audio) \ noun
honorer \ ˈä-​nər-​ər How to pronounce honorer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for honor

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of honor in a Sentence

Noun 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 Green, New York Review of Books, 15 May 2008 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 Books, 27 Sept. 2007 "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. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000 These people deserve to be treated with honor. The team brought honor to the school. The building was named in honor of the city's founder. He was prepared to fight to defend his family's honor. She has a keen sense of honor. He would not do it as a matter of honor. He's a man of honor. It was an honor to be invited. Verb 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 Diamant, National Geographic Traveler, September 2005 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 Kasselmann, AMC Outdoors, May 1999 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 Biddle, A Field Guide to Germs, 1995 "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 Vecsey, New York Times, 21 Aug. 1994 When we got married, we promised to love and honor each other. We were honored with the queen's presence. She has been honored by several organizations for her charitable works. We need to find an appropriate way to honor these brave people. They have established a scholarship as a way to honor his memory. They are accused of failing to honor their debts.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Malcolm, my grandfather, was awarded the Naval Cross for his service in WWI and the USS Pratt (DE-363) was christened in honor of him and my Uncle John. Samantha Laine Perfas, The Christian Science Monitor, "Sacrifice, reconciliation, hope: Readers reflect on Memorial Day," 21 May 2020 Anyone with a living father wore a red rose, while others wore white roses in honor of fathers who had passed away. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, "Meet the Man Who Inspired Father’s Day: A War Veteran and Single Dad with 14 Kids," 18 May 2020 With 312 career wins in his back pocket, five straight Southern Buckeye Conference-American Division league titles, an Eastern Cincinnati Conference crown and several Coach of the Year honors, Mazzaro is heading for the showers on his own terms. Scott Springer, Cincinnati.com, "West Clermont's first basketball coach retires after 24 seasons with two schools," 13 May 2020 Germantown: American Legion Post 1 usually goes to six cemeteries to perform a reading, rifle salute and taps, then proceeds to its veterans memorial for a community rendering of honors. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Coronavirus forces Milwaukee-area Memorial Day parades and ceremonies to cancel or make adjustments," 13 May 2020 Proud mom Kim Kardashian West shared a sweet social media tribute on Saturday, in honor of her and husband Kanye West's youngest son's first birthday. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "Psalm West Is 1! Kim Kardashian Celebrates Her Son's First Birthday: 'You Complete Our Family'," 9 May 2020 In honor, favorite French girl-inspired accessories line, Clare V., has collaborated with the organization on a line of knits and bags, with 100% of net proceeds benefitting EMC. Jasmin Perez, Sunset Magazine, "The Ultimate Mother’s Day Gift Guide," 1 May 2020 Roberts, a member of the Bar since 1993, earned a number of honors during her tenure, including a MacArthur Foundation Champion For Change Award, according to the Citizen report. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "Georgia juvenile judge dies days before she was slated to retire," 29 Apr. 2020 Smith threw for 2,977 yards for 18 touchdowns against five interceptions, earning Conference USA offensive player of the year honors in 2019. Jimmy Hascup, USA TODAY, "Patriots coach Bill Belichick said that not drafting a quarterback 'wasn't by design'," 27 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb An auditorium room with photos honoring those killed at the battle and thereafter as American soldiers fighting in Vietnam is lined with display cases on either side. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "Bay of Pigs Museum awaits Trump christening," 24 May 2020 Westlake High School has a decades-long tradition of honoring Vietnam War veterans who lost their lives in the line of duty, Scott said. Fox News, "Air Force pilot who died in Vietnam honored by Texas high school student with stunning video tribute," 24 May 2020 The reopenings coincide with a recent wave of rising COVID-19 cases in Alabama and images of U.S. flags flying at half-mast to honor the nearly 100,000 people who have died from the virus. al, "Water parks, go-kart tracks and more: Entertainment venues reopen at Alabama’s beaches," 24 May 2020 Edelman also won Super Bowl MVP honors with O’Shea as his position coach. cleveland, "How will Baker Mayfield benefit from the Browns play-action attack? Hey, Mary Kay!," 23 May 2020 Some of the yearly events that mark the reason for the holiday, honoring the men and women who lost their lives in service to their country, are canceled or changed. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "Memorial Day 2020: Here are restaurant deals for dine-in and takeout in metro Phoenix," 23 May 2020 All outstanding gift certificates will be honored, Mastera said. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Farmer's Wife in West Allis is closing due to the financial hit it took from the coronavirus pandemic," 22 May 2020 Getty Images Memorial Day weekend is usually a time to come together and honor those who gave their lives defending the nation. Erin Bromage, New York Times, "How to Have a Safer Pandemic Memorial Day," 22 May 2020 On Memorial Day in 1984, President Ronald Reagan spoke at the Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery during ceremonies honoring an unknown soldier from the Vietnam War. James Freeman, WSJ, "Memorial Day without Parades," 22 May 2020

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.

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First Known Use of honor


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


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

History and Etymology for honor

Noun and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for honor

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for honor

Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Honor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honor. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for honor


How to pronounce honor (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of honor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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


How to pronounce honor (audio)

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

: 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)


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

Kids Definition of honor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : good character as judged by other people : reputation
2 : outward respect : recognition The dinner is in honor of the new coach.
3 : privilege sense 1 You will have the honor of leading the parade.
4 used especially as a title for an official of high rankPlease 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.


honored; honoring

Kids Definition of honor (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : respect entry 2 sense 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.
honored; honoring

Legal Definition of honor

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on honor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for honor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with honor

Spanish Central: Translation of honor

Nglish: Translation of honor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of honor for Arabic Speakers

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