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

Jessica Jones can also be considered an honorary Capricorn hero. Marilyn La Jeunesse, Teen Vogue, "Which Superhero You Are According to Your Zodiac Sign," 26 Apr. 2019 No matter, Kratz would present KAWS with his honorary doctorate degree from the Academy. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "A Great KAWS: The Artist Is Honored at the Academy of Art’s Tribeca Ball," 13 Apr. 2019 In 2015, Varda was given an honorary Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Samuel Petrequin, The Seattle Times, "Agnes Varda, French New Wave pioneer, dies at 90," 29 Mar. 2019 According to the university, Butler's selection of commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients is a result of a nomination process, feedback received from community members and approval by the Board of Trustees. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "New York Times columnist David Brooks will speak at Butler commencement," 6 Apr. 2018 Meanwhile, Dominican University’s keynote speakers/honorary degree recipients are spouses: actor John Lithgow and economic historian Mary Yeager. Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle, "At SFMOMA, the self is reflected in the collector’s impulse," 26 Mar. 2018 Cash will join producer-guitarist Nile Rodgers and jazz artist Esperanza Spalding as honorary recipients of doctor of music degrees during Berklee commencement exercises on May 12. Tom Roland, Billboard, "Berklee Steps Up Its Nashville Game, Honoring Dave Cobb and Rosanne Cash," 20 Mar. 2018 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

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

18 May 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

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