hon·​or | \ ˈä-nər How to pronounce honor (audio) \

Definition of honor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : good name or public esteem : reputation
b : a showing of usually merited respect : recognition pay honor to our founder
2 : privilege had the honor of joining the captain for dinner
3 : a person of superior standing now used especially as a title for a holder of high officeif Your Honor please
4 : one whose worth brings respect or fame : credit an honor to the profession
5 : the center point of the upper half of an armorial escutcheon
6 : an evidence or symbol of distinction: such as
a : an exalted title or rank
(2) : a ceremonial rite or observance buried with full military honors
c : an award in a contest or field of competition
d archaic : a gesture of deference : bow
e honors plural
(1) : an academic distinction conferred on a superior student
(2) : a course of study for superior students supplementing or replacing a regular course
7 : chastity, purity fought fiercely for her honor and her life— Barton Black
8a : a keen sense of ethical conduct : integrity a man of honor
b : one's word given as a guarantee of performance on my honor, I will be there
9 honors plural : social courtesies or civilities extended by a host asked her to do the honors
10a(1) : an ace, king, queen, jack, or ten especially of the trump suit in bridge
(2) : the scoring value of honors held in bridge usually used in plural
b : the privilege of playing first from the tee in golf


hon·​or | \ ˈä-nər How to pronounce honor (audio) \
honored; honoring\ ˈä-​nə-​riŋ How to pronounce honoring (audio) , ˈän-​riŋ \

Definition of honor (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to regard or treat (someone) with admiration and respect : to regard or treat with honor
b : to give special recognition to : to confer honor on
2a : to live up to or fulfill the terms of honor a commitment
b : to accept as payment honor a credit card
3 : to salute with a bow in square dancing

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Other Words from honor


honoree \ ˌä-​nə-​ˈrē How to pronounce honoree (audio) \ noun
honorer \ ˈä-​nər-​ər How to pronounce honorer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for honor

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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Choose the Right Synonym for honor


honor, homage, reverence, deference mean respect and esteem shown to another. honor may apply to the recognition of one's right to great respect or to any expression of such recognition. the nomination is an honor homage adds the implication of accompanying praise. paying homage to Shakespeare reverence implies profound respect mingled with love, devotion, or awe. great reverence for my father deference implies a yielding or submitting to another's judgment or preference out of respect or reverence. showed no deference to their elders

synonyms see in addition honesty

Examples of honor in a Sentence

Noun Many of the Persians, despite belonging to the Barbarian Other, come off with honor and dignity in his pages, even during the final narrative of Xerxes' invasion. — Peter Green, New York Review of Books, 15 May 2008 Whoever footed the bill, the episode gave Marsh a taste of the grand life she yearned for. Presiding at balls in her honor and making entrances at lavish picnics were distinctions she could never have dreamed of back home. — Edmund S. Morgan et al., New York Review of Books, 27 Sept. 2007 "As I was saying," he said, smiling at the sea of students before him, all of whom were still gazing transfixed at Mad-Eye Moody, "we are to have the honor of hosting a very exciting event over the coming months, an event that has not been held for over a century." — J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000 These people deserve to be treated with honor. The team brought honor to the school. The building was named in honor of the city's founder. He was prepared to fight to defend his family's honor. She has a keen sense of honor. He would not do it as a matter of honor. He's a man of honor. It was an honor to be invited. Verb Cape Ann, an hour's drive north of Boston, is far sleepier than the famous elbow that bounds the southern reach of Massachusetts Bay.  … There aren't any schmaltzy songs about my granite cape, which was named to honor a queen, thank you very much. — Anita Diamant, National Geographic Traveler, September 2005 But by talking with hikers and trail builders in the years since, and tracing the history these stone piles carry with them, I would learn that cairns are more than just interesting curiosities. I would discover that cairns honor the dead, save lives, mark boundaries, protect vegetation, claim territory, and reflect the seasons. — Barbara Claire Kasselmann, AMC Outdoors, May 1999 Ricketts left for Mexico to study typhus in July of that year, where it killed him in 1910 at the age of thirty-nine. To honor his memory, the organisms that cause typhus and sundry spotted fevers were dubbed rickettsia in 1916. — Wayne Biddle, A Field Guide to Germs, 1995 "Elegant Attire is a tradition in the Saratoga Clubhouse," says a sign outside the clubhouse. "Ladies and gentlemen who continue to honor this tradition (e.g., dresses, suits or sport jackets) are always appreciated." It is not easy to arbitrate good taste, particularly when the temperature is soaring toward the 90's on a humid day. — George Vecsey, New York Times, 21 Aug. 1994 When we got married, we promised to love and honor each other. We were honored with the queen's presence. She has been honored by several organizations for her charitable works. We need to find an appropriate way to honor these brave people. They have established a scholarship as a way to honor his memory. They are accused of failing to honor their debts.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In honor of Green Room, do people often ask you what your desert island band is? Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Vivarium' Star Imogen Poots on the Sci-Fi Film's Real-Life Parallels," 27 Mar. 2020 The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas announced Tuesday that their adorable newborn African penguin chick has been named Zion in honor of New Orleans Pelicans rookie standout Zion Williamson. Analis Bailey, USA TODAY, "New Orleans aquarium names newborn penguin after Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson," 26 Mar. 2020 There are species of trapdoor spider and Puerto Rican water mite named in honor of, respectively, Barack Obama and Jennifer Lopez. Henry Hitchings, WSJ, "‘Charles Darwin’s Barnacle and David Bowie’s Spider’ Review: The Smile of Linnaeus," 26 Mar. 2020 The university on Monday canceled the remembrance events in honor of the 50th anniversary of May 4, 1970, when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a group of Vietnam War protesters, killing four students and injuring nine. Robin Goist, cleveland, "Kent State will pay nothing to Jane Fonda, other May 4 commemoration speakers after cancelations due to coronavirus," 25 Mar. 2020 The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shared a series of pictures in honor of the holiday, including a never-before-seen image of Prince George and Princess Charlotte riding on their parents' backs. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton Celebrates Mother's Day with a Never-Before-Seen Photo of Princess Charlotte," 22 Mar. 2020 India has so far refused to call off an annual festival that starts Wednesday in honor of the god Ram, also known as Rama. Vivian Yee, New York Times, "In a Pandemic, Religion Can Be a Balm and a Risk," 22 Mar. 2020 The O’Halloran clan in County Clare, Ireland, hosted small dances and parades in honor of St. Patrick's Day, consistent with health advisements that caution people to avoid large gatherings as the COVID-19 virus spreads. Anthony Leonardi, Washington Examiner, "Families host small St. Patrick's Day parades after Ireland cancels national festivities," 17 Mar. 2020 Brady has carved a similar path with 199 Productions, which was named in honor of where he was selected in the 2000 NFL draft. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Chargers’ short-term success in L.A. depends on signing Tom Brady," 17 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Should Durant be with the Nets on Thursday, the Warriors are expected to honor him with a tribute video and possibly more. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "Kevin Durant's presence felt around Nets, but will he be with them for return in Golden State?," 11 Mar. 2020 While some may take a few liberties with Reinheitsgebot – the Bavarian beer purity laws of the 16th century – most will honor it to the letter. Matt Koesters, Cincinnati.com, "Bockfest is Cincinnati's showcase of German culture, but German beer is here all year," 27 Feb. 2020 Arias was sworn into the department Feb. 7, 2019 in a touching ceremony that went viral online and inspired as many as 20 other agencies to honor her as well, including the Texas Rangers and Secret Service, the Houston Chronicle reported. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Freeport Police Department names new K9 after the late Abigail Arias, 7-year-old honorary cop," 14 Feb. 2020 Upland dogs must be able to back and honor the first dog on point. John Gordon, Outdoor Life, "10 Gun Dog Disasters to Avoid," 11 Feb. 2020 The Oscars don't have a great record of honoring women directors—and the Academy did little to remedy that this year. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Natalie Portman Stands Up for Snubbed Women Directors with Her Red Carpet Look," 10 Feb. 2020 Since that time, Trump has awarded the Medal of Freedom eight times – with each ceremony or occasion honoring a single recipient. Christopher Devine, The Conversation, "What is the Presidential Medal of Freedom?," 4 Feb. 2020 But many fans aren’t waiting for that event to honor him. Los Angeles Times, "L.A. is planning a big memorial for Kobe Bryant. But fans aren’t waiting to pay their respects," 1 Feb. 2020 Here, King is honored with the world’s smallest Confederate statue. John Gage, Washington Examiner, "Comedians build 'Confederate statue' to Steve King," 29 Feb. 2020

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for honor

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French onur, honur, from Latin honos, honor

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Learn More about honor

Time Traveler for honor

Time Traveler

The first known use of honor was in the 13th century

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Statistics for honor

Last Updated

31 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Honor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honor. Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for honor


How to pronounce honor (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of honor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: respect that is given to someone who is admired
: good reputation : good quality or character as judged by other people
: high moral standards of behavior


How to pronounce honor (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of honor (Entry 2 of 2)

: to regard or treat (someone) with respect and admiration : to show or give honor to (someone)
: to show admiration for (someone or something) in a public way : to give a public honor to (someone or something)
: to do what is required by (something, such as a promise or a contract)


hon·​or | \ ˈä-nər How to pronounce honor (audio) \

Kids Definition of honor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : good character as judged by other people : reputation
2 : outward respect : recognition The dinner is in honor of the new coach.
3 : privilege sense 1 You will have the honor of leading the parade.
4 used especially as a title for an official of high rankPlease welcome His Honor, the mayor.
5 : a person whose character and accomplishments bring respect or fame You are an honor to your profession.
6 : evidence or a symbol of great respect She's won many national honors.
7 : high moral standards of behavior He's a man of honor.


honored; honoring

Kids Definition of honor (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : respect entry 2 sense 1 Honor your parents.
2 : to recognize and show admiration for publicly He was honored at a special ceremony.
3 : to live up to or fulfill the requirements of She didn't honor her promise.
honored; honoring

Legal Definition of honor

1 : to accept and pay the bank honored the check
2 : to purchase or discount (a draft) in compliance with a letter of credit

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More from Merriam-Webster on honor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for honor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with honor

Spanish Central: Translation of honor

Nglish: Translation of honor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of honor for Arabic Speakers

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