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

Example Sentences

Customers are on the honor system to pay for any software they choose to purchase.
Recent Examples on the Web Also, there’s no time for the honor system. Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2022 But both rely on the honor system. Susan Dunne, courant.com, 10 Jan. 2022 The honor system is subject to failure though, and not everyone complies fully or is sufficiently careful. Katherine Faulders, ABC News, 13 Jan. 2023 The honor system rarely failed. Sue Wunder, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 Dec. 2022 The honor system requires people who are in court for a protective order to give up their firearms, but often, there’s little to no enforcement about where the weapon will go, McBride said. Claire Rafford, The Indianapolis Star, 22 Apr. 2022 There are signs that the honor system is working. Miriam Gottfried, WSJ, 20 Oct. 2021 The honor system did not work. Kk Ottesen, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Aug. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'honor system.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1893, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of honor system was in 1893

Dictionary Entries Near honor system

Cite this Entry

“Honor system.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honor%20system. Accessed 29 May. 2023.

Kids Definition

honor system

: a system (as at a school) where persons are trusted to follow the rules without supervision
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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