hon·​or·​if·​ic | \ˌä-nə-ˈri-fik \

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

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Other Words from honorific

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

Examples of honorific in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Marchesa Origo, to give Iris her proper honorific, acquired a reputation as a valiant humanitarian. Dan Hofstadter, WSJ, "‘A Chill in the Air’ Review: A Tuscan Idyll Before the War," 30 Aug. 2018 The New York Times reports that the Queen was ready to allow Diana to keep the honorific, but Charles was especially keen on her giving it up. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Inside Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana's Highly Complicated Relationship," 22 Sep. 2018 In 1986, Leonard Bernstein led his last tour with the New York Philharmonic as its laureate conductor, an honorific richly deserved by one of America’s most revered musicians. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "CSO at Ravinia review: Marin Alsop poetically launches Bernstein tribute," 13 July 2018 Members of the academies—which serve as both honorific societies and advisers to the U.S. government—are elected by existing members to life-long terms, and the bodies currently lack mechanisms for removing them for harassment. Katie Langin, Science | AAAS, "Top stories: simulating galaxies, Great Barrier die-offs, and combating sexual harassment," 1 June 2018 Male physicians are more frequently introduced with the honorific Doctor so and so. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Journalist and author Joanne Lipman on Recode Decode," 28 Mar. 2018 America's outlook on Indian life is by turns lionizing and loathing, honorific and ostracizing. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "Probing the Paradoxes of Native Americans in Pop Culture," 22 Jan. 2018 In this sense, Elmendorf’s statement is true: People do misperceive the title as an honorific. Fred Kaplan, Slate Magazine, "The Chelsea Manning and Michelle Jones debacles reveal the university’s poor judgment.," 15 Sep. 2017 Marnie: Vineyard ownership is such a hugely important quality factor in the wine world that some European regions have their own honorific terms that can be used only for estate wines. Gar Joseph, Philly.com, "Cheap Buzz: Estate Wines Are Artisanal Wines," 20 Sep. 2017

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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Statistics for honorific

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for honorific

The first known use of honorific was in 1650

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English Language Learners Definition of honorific

: giving or expressing honor or respect

More from Merriam-Webster on honorific

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with honorific

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about honorific

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to enclose within walls

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