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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web In 2013, Wight received an honorary doctorate from the University of Manitoba in recognition of her exceptional contribution in presenting and further developing the gallery’s Inuit art collection. Bernadette Driscoll Engelstad, Smithsonian Magazine, "Groundbreaking New Center Unveils World’s Largest Collection of Inuit Art," 13 Apr. 2021 In 2004, he was awarded a Medal of Distinction from the University of Delaware, and in 2005, he was bestowed an honorary doctorate of engineering from Polytechnic. Washington Post, "William Friend, an influential chemical engineer, dies of complications from covid-19," 2 Apr. 2021 Trump, in return, made Kinzinger the only Illinois Republican congressman not to be named an honorary co-chair of his 2020 reelection campaign. Eric Zorn, chicagotribune.com, "Column: History will be kind to Rep. Adam Kinzinger and other Republicans who stood up to Donald Trump," 24 Nov. 2020 Raffensperger, a Republican, declined an offer in January to serve as an honorary co-chair of the Trump campaign in Georgia, according to emails reviewed by ProPublica. Jessica Huseman, ProPublica, "Trump Campaign Officials Started Pressuring Georgia’s Secretary of State Long Before the Election," 18 Nov. 2020 Throughout his life, Philip held several honorary titles in the Royal Air Force, the Royal Marines, and the Royal Navy. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, dies at 99," 9 Apr. 2021 In 2005, in the wake of damage and loss in his hometown caused by Hurricane Katrina, Harry led the fundraising charge to get New Orleans back on its feet, helping organize a national telethon and becoming an honorary chair of Habitat For Humanity. Southern Living Editiors, Southern Living, "Harry Connick Jr. Talks New Orleans, The Perfect Po'Boy, and His New Album on Biscuits & Jam," 30 Mar. 2021 Founding sponsor Peoples Bank, formerly First National Bank of Suffield, will continue to act as honorary co-chair for all 2021 350th celebrations, including the parade. courant.com, "Community News For The Windsor Locks Edition," 26 Mar. 2021 As honorary chair of Partnership for a Healthier America, Obama — and her new puppet friends — are going to work on America's growing hunger crisis. Diane Herbst, PEOPLE.com, "Michelle Obama Says New Cooking Show Waffles + Mochi Is 'Fun and Educational' Even for Adults," 10 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for honorary

Time Traveler

The first known use of honorary was in 1606

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Statistics for honorary

Last Updated

26 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Honorary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honorary. Accessed 5 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for honorary



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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Comments on honorary

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