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 office if 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
b(1) : badge, decoration
(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 honor (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 honor (audio) \ noun
honorer \ ˈä-​nər-​ər How to pronounce honor (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 This is the seventh time Bentley has been nominated for that honor. Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, "Is Dierks Bentley country music's Male of the Year? He's nominated for the ACM award again," 28 Feb. 2021 That was a huge honor that has been celebrated by Ford, especially because recognition wasn't in an all-electric category but all SUVs. Star Tribune, "Ford's new ad strategy: Don't tell, show," 19 Feb. 2021 The news took her by surprise because her husband, Karl Sutterfield, 52, and Zach nominated her for the honor without telling her. Peggy O’hare, San Antonio Express-News, "San Marcos fire survivor's mom named Texas' Mother of the Year," 8 Feb. 2021 Players and coaches must be five years removed from their retirement to be eligible for the honor. Amie Just | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame class unveiled: 2 with Louisiana ties to be inducted," 6 Feb. 2021 Here are 11 contenders up for the honor of dressing the future Madam Vice President on Inauguration Day and night. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "Which Designer Will Kamala Harris Wear for the Inauguration?," 14 Jan. 2021 None of them, in their final days in office, would have motivated a large crowd of devotees to line up along the shoulder of a road just for the honor of spending a few minutes in the same zip code as the president. Gilbert Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Garcia: Trump’s border visit a reminder of the wall he built between us," 12 Jan. 2021 Competitions of this sort, for honor, for high reward, seemed natural to me; the myths that were my first reading were filled with them. Louise Glück, The New York Review of Books, "The Poet and the Reader: Nobel Lecture 2020," 5 Jan. 2021 Jones, and every team’s nominee for the honor, will wear a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Byron Jones named Dolphins’ Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee," 10 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The industry has some catching up to do in order to truly honor the contribution from the Asian culture. Gabby Shacknai, Forbes, "12 Asian-American Founders On Why The Beauty Industry Needs To Take A Stand Against Asian Hate," 27 Feb. 2021 After his best friend of 40 years was killed by a drunken driver one year ago, Steven Chase has dealt with the emotional devastation through a tireless effort to honor his memory. Rick Menning, sun-sentinel.com, "Friend’s tragic death drives Boca Raton entrepreneur to action," 26 Feb. 2021 Natalie realizes her memories of her mom are starting to fade when Michelle and Delia have a memorial to honor Wade’s wife. Washington Post, "What to watch on Thursday: ‘Punky Brewster’ on Peacock," 25 Feb. 2021 These small attempts to honor women have gone nowhere. Star Tribune, "U.S. women deserve a federal public holiday," 24 Feb. 2021 DeSantis' decision to honor Limbaugh faced backlash within his state. Sarah Elbeshbishi, USA TODAY, "Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to lower flags to half-staff in honor of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh," 21 Feb. 2021 Scripps Health, which runs a superstation at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, has enough vaccine to honor appointments through the weekend, according to a spokesperson. Jonathan Wosen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Petco Park vaccine superstation will close Friday and Saturday due to supply shortage," 18 Feb. 2021 An opportunity to achieve your wildest dreams could succeed because someone has faith in your ability to honor commitments. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Feb. 12, 2021: Taurus, charm your way to the top; Sagittarius, be direct, clear," 12 Feb. 2021 Even more stressful than nailing the scene was the pressure to honor a story about a movement that has often been approached with a mixture of awe and terror by a predominantly white media. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "Judas & The Black Messiah’s Dominique Fishback Is Ready To Show You A Hero," 9 Feb. 2021

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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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

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Honor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honor. Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for honor



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



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 rank Please 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

Nglish: Translation of honor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of honor for Arabic Speakers

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