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

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 This old-fashioned honor system recently caught the eye of the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR), which wrote a feature story on the unique paper. Southern Living, "This Small Alabama Newspaper’s Chair-And-Cigar-Box Honor System Has Been Operating for 100 Years," 4 May 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, BostonGlobe.com, "Hay from strangers helps save cattle in fire-scorched Oklahoma," 29 Apr. 2018 Sites such as that of the Times, on the other hand, must rely on the honor system. David Pogue, Scientific American, "How Online Subscription Services Deal with the Problem of Password Sharing," 1 Dec. 2017 In essence, the department would be using the honor system. Loren Grush, The Verge, "House bill would regulate bold commercial space missions — but not very closely," 24 Apr. 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

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

Comments on honor system

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not any or not one

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