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

Other Words from honorary

honorarily \ ˌä-​nə-​ˈrer-​ə-​lē How to pronounce honorary (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.
Recent Examples on the Web The university awarded the Dali Lama with an honorary doctorate in 2011. Bill Bowden, Arkansas Online, 15 May 2022 Mann also received an honorary doctorate in commerce from the university in 1993. Michael T. Nietzel, Forbes, 13 May 2022 He was named Samford’s Alumnus of the Year in 2004 and received an honorary doctorate in commerce from the university in 1993. al, 12 May 2022 The 9-1-1 star already possessed an honorary doctorate from Morehouse College, a historically Black college in Atlanta that honored Bassett for her leadership in Hollywood. Hattie Lindert, PEOPLE.com, 7 May 2022 Dafoe, who grew up in Appleton, will also receive his honorary doctorate at the afternoon commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 22. Devi Shastri, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 29 Apr. 2022 Emmanuel Anthony, principal of the Academy for Urban Scholars, presented Bryant’s family with an honorary high school diploma for their daughter. Washington Post, 30 Apr. 2021 In recognition of his civic endeavors, the University of San Francisco awarded Sarlo an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Olivia Goldhill, STAT, 21 Apr. 2022 Among his many awards was the Arts Achievement Award from ArtsNL, the Douglas James Dales Industry Builder Award and an honorary doctorate from Memorial University. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for honorary

Time Traveler

The first known use of honorary was in 1606

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Dictionary Entries Near honorary



honorary canon

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Statistics for honorary

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Honorary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honorary. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for honorary


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on honorary

Nglish: Translation of honorary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of honorary for Arabic Speakers


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