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 Several players from the men's and women's basketball teams at Louisville and Kentucky have been chosen among the top 25 contenders for the highest annual honor, given to the best player in the country at the end of every season. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Several Bluegrass State college basketball players earn place on Wooden Award watch lists," 9 Jan. 2020 The 'Vette, Ranger and Telluride got my votes for those honors, too. Mark Phelan, Freep.com, "Corvette, Ranger and Telluride triumph as Free Press car, truck and SUV of the year," 29 Dec. 2019 Simone Biles, who was named the 2019 AP Female Athlete of the Year, and finished second to Williams for the decade honor, said Williams has been her idol growing up. Audrey Mcnamara, CBS News, "Serena Williams named AP Athlete of the Decade," 28 Dec. 2019 In Indianapolis about 100 people participate in the program known as Kavod, from the Hebrew word for honor. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "For Holocaust survivors, Hanukkah marks time to celebrate outside the shadows," 23 Dec. 2019 Series exploring terrorism, crime and domestic drama are among the contenders for the Scandinavian honor. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "Dramas 'Caliphate', 'July 22' Among Nordic TV Drama Screenplay Nominees," 17 Dec. 2019 One of the highlights of the year was undoubtedly the Chicken Sandwich War, which had various fast food chains dueling for the honor of having the best chicken sandwich. Banu Ibrahim, CNN Underscored, "20 ugly holiday sweaters that are way too fun to pass up," 11 Dec. 2019 Family and friends may gather Friday, December 13, 2019, at 9 AM at the Chapel of the Connecticut State Veterans Cemetery, Bow Lane, Middletown for military honors. courant.com, "Dennis Morgan Weaver," 11 Dec. 2019 On Monday, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association unveiled the nominees for the 77th annual honors. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Female directors snubbed (yet again) by Golden Globes directing category," 9 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Daily on Defense will not be published Monday, Jan. 20 in observance of the federal holiday honoring the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "Senators worry Trump will end counterterrorism missions in Africa," 17 Jan. 2020 Shinola x Smokey Robinson: Great American Series Celebration Shinola LA Arts District, 835 E. Third St., 5 p.m. Hosted by the Motown legend himself, Shinola's party will unveil its new collection honoring Smokey Robinson’s 60 years in music. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "A Complete Guide to Every 2020 Grammy Party & Event (Updating)," 17 Jan. 2020 Two signs will be placed on the north and south side of the courthouse, each honoring Cummings' legacy, CNN affiliate WBAL reported. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "This Baltimore courthouse is set to be renamed for the late Rep. Elijah Cummings," 17 Jan. 2020 Speaking in the East Room at the White House on Friday during a ceremony honoring the college football national champions, the president had high praise for Orgeron. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "President Trump on LSU's Ed Orgeron: 'If I was casting a movie ... that's my football coach'," 17 Jan. 2020 Some historians have called this a policy silver lining, indicating that the government can honor boundaries around what people do in the privacy of their own homes. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "18 Things You Probably Don't Know About Prohibition," 17 Jan. 2020 Last year, Holstine reportedly declined an invitation to visit the White House to celebrate her being honored as one of the nation’s top teachers. Sean Neumann, PEOPLE.com, "'Teacher of the Year' Explains Why She Knelt During the National Anthem at College Football Championship," 17 Jan. 2020 Presidents' Day 2020 falls on February 17, and in addition to honoring our great leaders, Presidents' Day weekend happens to be one of the best times of the year to shop mattresses and big furniture items. Shanon Maglente, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Presidents' Day Sales and Deals of 2020," 16 Jan. 2020 Mayor Matt Castelli and City Council members observed a moment of silence before honoring Guttmann’s life at their Jan. 14 meeting. Beth Mlady, cleveland, "Middleburg Heights officials mourn passing of longtime Councilman Ray Guttmann," 16 Jan. 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

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Honor.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honor?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=h&file=honor001. Accessed 25 January 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

Comments on honor

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


dull or mediocre

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