adjective hon·or·able \ ˈä-nər-(ə-)bəl , ˈän-rə- \
Updated on: 21 Mar 2018

Definition of honorable

1 : deserving of respect or high regard : deserving of honor
  • an honorable profession
2 a : of great renown : illustrious
  • the college's long and honorable history
b : entitled to honor or respect used as a title for the children of certain British noblemen and for various government officials
  • the Honorable Judge Smith
  • the Honorable Senator from California
3 : performed or accompanied with marks of honor or respect
4 a : attesting to creditable conduct
  • honorable wounds
b : consistent with a reputation that is not tarnished or sullied
  • an honorable withdrawal
  • received an honorable discharge from the army
5 : characterized by integrity : guided by a keen sense of duty and ethical conduct
  • Brutus is an honorable man
  • —William Shakespeare
  • assured her that his intentions were honorable


play \ˌän-rə-ˈbi-lə-tē, ˌä-nə-\ noun


play \ˈän-rə-bəl-nəs, ˈä-nə-\ noun


play \ˈän-rə-blē, ˈä-nə-\ adverb

Examples of honorable in a Sentence

  1. The college has a long and honorable history.

  2. It is not honorable of you to behave like that.

  3. They are trying to find an honorable way out of this dispute.

  4. He assured her that his intentions were honorable.

  5. He received an honorable discharge from the army.

Recent Examples of honorable from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'honorable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of honorable

see 1honor

Synonym Discussion of honorable

upright, honest, just, conscientious, scrupulous, honorable mean having or showing a strict regard for what is morally right. upright implies a strict adherence to moral principles.
    • a stern and upright minister
honest stresses adherence to such virtues as truthfulness, candor, or fairness.
    • known for being honest in business dealings
just stresses conscious choice and regular practice of what is right or equitable.
    • workers given just compensation
conscientious and scrupulous imply an active moral sense governing all one's actions and painstaking efforts to follow one's conscience.
    • conscientious in the completion of her assignments
    • scrupulous in carrying out the terms of the will
honorable suggests a firm holding to codes of right behavior and the guidance of a high sense of honor and duty.
    • a difficult but honorable decision

Other Forms of Address Terms

HONORABLE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of honorable for English Language Learners

  • : deserving honor and respect

  • : having or showing honesty and good moral character

  • : fair and proper : not deserving blame or criticism

HONORABLE Defined for Kids


adjective hon·or·able \ ˈä-nə-rə-bəl , ˈän-rə-bəl \

Definition of honorable for Students

1 : bringing about or deserving honor
  • It's an honorable achievement.
2 : observing ideas of honor or reputation
  • They're seeking an honorable peace.
3 : having high moral standards of behavior : ethical, upright
  • She is too honorable to stoop to cheating.


\-blē\ adverb

Law Dictionary


adjective hon·or·able

legal Definition of honorable

: entitled to honor used as a title for various government officials

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