hon·​or·​if·​ic ˌä-nə-ˈri-fik How to pronounce honorific (audio)
: conferring or conveying honor
honorific titles
: belonging to or constituting a class of grammatical forms used in speaking to or about a social superior
honorific noun
honorifically adverb

Examples of honorific in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The real czars may be long gone, but for decades, the White House has been doing a good job of keeping the role—or at least the honorific—alive, appointing a director to oversee a particular task or issue, and bestowing the title along with it. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 15 Sep. 2023 The Friday announcement quells any talk of retirement for the long-serving leader who, with the honorific title of speaker emeritus, remains an influential leader, pivotal party figure and vast fundraiser for Democrats. Lisa Mascaro, Baltimore Sun, 8 Sep. 2023 In 1888, the honorific Mahatma (great soul), a term later used to describe Gandhi, was accorded to Phule. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 9 Aug. 2023 Trending Now: No one — M.D. or otherwise — should use the honorific ‘doctor’ with patients Because of tensions over race and slavery, however, some of Emory’s research about her ancestors has been frustrating and painful. Usha Lee McFarling, STAT, 3 Aug. 2023 One of Augustus’ honorific titles had been Father of His Country (pater patriae): the funeral suggested that all Roman heroes counted among his ancestors, and all citizens were part of his family. Mary Beard, The New Yorker, 26 June 2023 Clifford Iknokinok, received honorific letters and certificates from the Navy and National Guard. Mark Thiessen, ajc, 1 Apr. 2023 Bartender should have been honorific enough. Eric Felten, WSJ, 24 Dec. 2020 And as she’s traded in her leadership title for the honorific speaker emerita, Pelosi has lost the bulk of her staff and coveted office space. Nolan D. McCaskill, Los Angeles Times, 20 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'honorific.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1650, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of honorific was in 1650

Dictionary Entries Near honorific

Cite this Entry

“Honorific.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honorific. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

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