hon·​or·​if·​ic | \ ˌä-nə-ˈri-fik How to pronounce honorific (audio) \

Definition of honorific

1 : conferring or conveying honor honorific titles
2 : belonging to or constituting a class of grammatical forms used in speaking to or about a social superior

Other Words from honorific

honorific noun
honorifically \ ˌä-​nə-​ˈri-​fi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce honorific (audio) \ adverb

Examples of honorific in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pelosi skipped some of the traditional honorific talk when introducing the president. Emma Grey Ellis, Wired, 5 Feb. 2020 Wahid, known by the honorific Gus Dur, was a Muslim cleric beloved for his jovial style. Washington Post, 19 Dec. 2019 However, Mr Raab holds the honorific title of first secretary of state, indicating his status as Mr Johnson’s preferred deputy. The Economist, 6 Apr. 2020 The Louis Armstrong Memorial Dishwasher had come with the kitchen; the honorific had not. Nick Friedman, New York Times, 3 June 2018 One, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi—better known by his honorific, Mahatma (great soul)—is recognizable as the Indian independence activist and icon to peaceful protesters around the world. Time, 25 Jan. 2020 Invitations for state visits, extended by Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of the government, are rare, honorific and convey a strong relationship between Britain and the country of the visiting foreign leader. New York Times, 27 Apr. 2018 Pechanac’s Muslim grandmother had taken in and protected Jews during the Second World War, and the State of Israel had given her an honorific, the Righteous Among the Nations. Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker, 8 Oct. 2019 And David, once dignified with the Turkish honorific effendi, would die in Auschwitz with much of his family in 1943. The Economist, 2 Jan. 2020

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

1650, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler

The first known use of honorific was in 1650

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Dictionary Entries Near honorific



honoris causa

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Cite this Entry

“Honorific.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honorific. Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of honorific

: giving or expressing honor or respect

More from Merriam-Webster on honorific

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about honorific


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