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 Bob had just two honorary doctorates and no civic awards in Britain, though a grateful George W. Bush in the United States did give him the Medal of Freedom. David Pryce-jones, National Review, "Robert Conquest: Sovietologist and Poet," 28 Apr. 2020 The honorary title celebrates noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to our community, state and nation. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "Everyday heroes: Meet the Kentucky Capitol cleaning crew fighting the 'invisible man'," 23 Apr. 2020 Queen Elizabeth drew the line on Harry retaining any royal appointments, most notably his cherished honorary military titles. Max Foster, CNN, "Prince Harry and Meghan officially start their non-royal life. Here's what that will look like," 31 Mar. 2020 To celebrate the honorary title, Vigneron will conduct a solemn celebration of mass with a reading of the decree April 26 at noon. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit’s Ste. Anne Church becomes third in Michigan to receive title of ‘minor basilica’," 1 Mar. 2020 The Queen can bestow knighthood and other honorary titles, grant pardons, and reduce prison sentences. TheWeek, "How the Royals get their money," 2 Feb. 2020 His own 5-year-old dog, Bear, whom Davidsohn adopted while working in the Wyss Institute lab, was an inspiration and now holds the honorary title of chief inspiration officer at Rejuvenate. BostonGlobe.com, "Harvard study advances gene therapy in fighting age-related diseases - The Boston Globe," 5 Nov. 2019 Burdette is the current chair of the town commission, which comes with the honorary title of mayor. David Anderson, baltimoresun.com, "Filing deadline for Bel Air town elections to move up in 2021," 18 Sep. 2019 In the public square, Rees holds the honorary title of Astronomer Royal and is one of the 23 holders of the Order of Merit, an award personally made by the queen. Quanta Magazine, "On the Best Use of Science to Safeguard Humanity," 5 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for honorary

Time Traveler

The first known use of honorary was in 1606

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Statistics for honorary

Last Updated

3 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Honorary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honorary. Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for honorary


How to pronounce honorary (audio)

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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