honor system


Definition of honor system

: a system (as at a college) whereby persons are trusted to abide by the regulations (as for a code of conduct) without supervision or surveillance

Examples of honor system in a Sentence

Customers are on the honor system to pay for any software they choose to purchase.

Recent Examples on the Web

So in cities and small towns, a new breed of small community stores are trying things like work training, medical clinics, package-free products, and unstaffed stores on a customer honor system. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Apple’s path to $1 trillion continues unabated," 1 Aug. 2018 Take a cinematic cruise down the long flat farm roads, cooing at highland cattle and relaxed quarter horses or stop to collect a local farmer’s bounty in exchange for a few dollars in the honor system jar. Kaitlyn Wylde, Vogue, "What’s So Great About Great Barrington? A Weekend Guide to the Quietly Cool Berkshire Town," 25 Oct. 2018 Unlike wage earners who have their income separately reported to the IRS, business owners are often on the honor system. Paul Kiel, The Seattle Times, "Hobbled by budget cuts, the IRS brings fewer tax fraud cases," 2 Oct. 2018 The breakfast and lunch restaurant operated on a version of the honor system. Jacques Kelly, baltimoresun.com, "George Hummel, deli owner, musician and pool player, dies," 3 May 2018 But the agency's financial review process is primarily an honor system and seems to miss obvious conflicts. Charles Piller, Science | AAAS, "Hidden conflicts? Pharma payments to FDA advisers after drug approvals spark ethical concerns," 5 July 2018 So each time a major fire devastates the Great Plains, an informal but robust hay delivery kicks into gear, powered by Facebook messages, word of mouth and the honor system. Mitch Smith, New York Times, "In Fire-Scorched Oklahoma, Help Comes One Bale at a Time," 29 Apr. 2018 On the way, stop at Gospel Flat Farm Stand, a casual, 24-hour roadside kiosk stocked with fresh produce that operates on the honor system. San Francisco Chronicle, "One Day, One Place: Bolinas and Stinson Beach," 17 May 2018 Citing four unnamed White House officials, CNN's Kaitlan Collins reported Tuesday on the ban imposed this year on personal cellphones in the West Wing: The ban isn't based on an honor system. Callum Borchers, Washington Post, "Trump’s White House sounds like a trust-free zone," 16 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'honor system.' 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 system

1893, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of honor system was in 1893

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honor system


English Language Learners Definition of honor system

chiefly US : a system in which people are trusted to follow rules and to act in an honest way

Comments on honor system

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


behavior toward others

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