hon·​or·​ary | \ ˈä-nə-ˌrer-ē How to pronounce honorary (audio) \

Definition of honorary

1a : having or conferring distinction an honorary engineering society
b : commemorative an honorary plaque
2 : dependent on honor or a keen sense of ethical conduct for fulfillment an honorary obligation
3a : conferred or elected in recognition of achievement or service without the usual prerequisites or obligations an honorary degree an honorary member
b : unpaid, voluntary an honorary chairman

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Other Words from honorary

honorarily \ ˌä-​nə-​ˈrer-​ə-​lē How to pronounce honorarily (audio) \ adverb
honorary noun

Examples of honorary in a Sentence

He was awarded an honorary degree. He's an honorary member of the club. He is the honorary president of the commission.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Zeta-Jones was born and raised in Wales, and was presented with an honorary degree from The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama at the gala. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Catherine Zeta-Jones & Daughter Carys Twin in Off-the-Shoulder Red Gowns," 3 Mar. 2019 Many would also like to see Lee, who was given an honorary Oscar in 2015, win his first competitive Academy Award. Jake Coyle, The Seattle Times, "What will win best picture? It’s a maddeningly close race," 20 Feb. 2019 His honorary degrees stripped, and future contracts squashed. (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. Talia Kirkland, Fox News, "Court battle over Bill Cosby's sexually violent predator classification could be indicator ahead of sentencing," 3 Aug. 2018 Laborde received honorary degrees from Loyola University, Xavier University and Catholic University of America. Contributing Writer, NOLA.com, "He was considered the father of the offshore oil industry. Can you name him?," 16 May 2018 Beloved in the community: Edwin Jackson was a good kid who loved kids Georgia Southern University, where Jackson walked on to the football team, recognized his academic achievement Saturday by presenting his parents an honorary posthumous degree. Dakota Crawford, Indianapolis Star, "Months after his tragic death, Edwin Jackson's parents emotionally accept GSU degree," 6 May 2018 Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer received an honorary degree from the University of Central Florida during a graduation ceremony Friday. Annie Martin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer receives honorary UCF degree," 4 May 2018 Carly, along with two fellow honorary co-chairs, Tyler Backus and Jeremy Brown, will share their stories during the weeklong tournament in an effort to explain why the camp is such a worthy beneficiary of the Travelers Championship. Kelli Stacy, courant.com, "Travelers Championship Opens With Special Moment From Hole In The Wall Gang Camp Children," 18 June 2018 Removing an honorary degree is unprecedented in Northwestern’s 167-year history. Dawn Rhodes, chicagotribune.com, "Northwestern revokes honorary degree given to Bill Cosby," 18 June 2018

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

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for honorary

Latin honorarius, from honor

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Statistics for honorary

Last Updated

9 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for honorary

The first known use of honorary was in 1606

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English Language Learners Definition of honorary

: given as a sign of honor or achievement
: regarded as one of a group although not officially elected or included
: holding a position for which no payment is given : not paid


hon·​or·​ary | \ ˈä-nə-ˌrer-ē How to pronounce honorary (audio) \

Kids Definition of honorary

: given or done as an honor They made him an honorary member of the club.

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More from Merriam-Webster on honorary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for honorary

Spanish Central: Translation of honorary

Nglish: Translation of honorary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of honorary for Arabic Speakers

Comments on honorary

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


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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