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

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Other Words from honorific

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

Examples of honorific in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In South Korea, those born in the same year often treat each other as equals, while people must use honorific titles to address those born earlier, rather than directly using their names. Hyung-jin Kim, The Seattle Times, "S. Korean babies born Dec. 31 become 2-year-olds next day," 13 Apr. 2019 Photo: Scala/Art Resource, NY The exhibition concludes with a fascinating consideration of how the broad appeal of Renaissance nude (or largely nude) figures led to their incorporation in honorific allegories, medals and portraits. Mary Tompkins Lewis, WSJ, "‘The Renaissance Nude’ Review: The Body, Sacred and Sensual," 14 Nov. 2018 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

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

21 Apr 2019

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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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with honorific

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about honorific

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