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 officeif 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
(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 honoring (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 honoree (audio) \ noun
honorer \ ˈä-​nər-​ər How to pronounce honorer (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 Roberson returned with all-state honors after a seventh-place finish in the 4A girls race, posting a two-mile time of 11:48.18. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Fulshear sweeps into first state volleyball tournament," 18 Nov. 2019 Ivan attended Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix on a scholarship and graduated with honors. Chelsea Curtis, azcentral, "Mother of ASU student who died in Greek Village says university isn't providing answers," 14 Nov. 2019 Baldelli tips Boone for AL honor Rocco Baldelli of the Minnesota Twins narrowly beat out Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees to win AL Manager of the Year. BostonGlobe.com, "Wainwright to stay with Cardinals," 13 Nov. 2019 Gordy said to a laughing audience before thanking the foundation for the honor. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, "Berry Gordy & Smokey Robinson Feted by Ryan Gordy Foundation," 12 Nov. 2019 One of three finalists for the fielding honor, Story lost out to the Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed, who claimed the Gold Glove at the position for the second straight season. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Rockies shortstop Trevor Story wins second straight National League Silver Slugger Award," 7 Nov. 2019 Thank you @amytastley,⁠ @janekeltnerdev and @archdigest for the honor of being part of your July/August issue. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Please Stop Saying Millennials Killed Antiques," 6 Nov. 2019 The list of those eligible for the Naismith honor will be trimmed to 30 names in early February, followed by 10 semifinal candidates on March 5, and four finalist on March 17. oregonlive, "Oregon State’s Tres Tinkle lands on Naismith Trophy player of the year preseason watch list," 4 Nov. 2019 Selected by the Connecticut Teacher of the Year Council, Hatch-Geary was among nearly 100 candidates for the statewide honor. Rick Green, courant.com, "Meet Connecticut’s new teacher of the year: Meghan Hatch-Geary from Beacon Falls," 1 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Swift, who is set to be honored Sunday as artist of the decade at the American Music Awards, has claimed that she was told not to perform her greatest hits by Braun and Scott Borchetta, chief executive of her former label, Big Machine Records. NBC News, "Scooter Braun appeals to Taylor Swift, says feud has led to threats against his family," 22 Nov. 2019 To honor and remember them, the editors have compiled a collection of stories from Zora contributors, and have published thorough and loving profiles of each of the women who have been lost. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Stacey Abrams Carries the Fight Against Voter Suppression," 22 Nov. 2019 To honor the tradition, a ceremony will take place during halftime of the Samford University game this Saturday. Lily Jackson | Ljackson@al.com, al, "Auburn retires Nova, War Eagle VII; Aurea to take over," 22 Nov. 2019 Officer Baron Coleman, a neighborhood police officer in the 8th Precinct, took to Facebook on Thursday to express his grief about McClain's killing, and to honor his friend and colleague. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Slain Detroit police officer was outgoing, funny and 'loved, loved, loved' his job," 21 Nov. 2019 In this heat little keeps— see how your hat wilts, held over your heart to honortoday the dead who cannot say, yet still share your name. Kevin Young, The New Republic, "Mason Jar," 21 Nov. 2019 Carey shared the video not only to honor catchiest holiday tune in history but also to promote a new double album featuring unreleased recordings from that holiday concert at St. John the Divine. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Mariah Carey’s Stage Debut of “All I Want For Christmas is You” Was Pure ’90s Style, Sans Santa Catsuit," 21 Nov. 2019 Afterward, the program resumed to honor TEACH's previous executive director, Kelly Krohn Buchanan, and past board president, Bruce Derrick. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Jim Crane replaces Shaquille O'Neal, helps raise record $1.3 million at Grand Slam for TEACH," 20 Nov. 2019 By refusing to honor ICE detainers, sheriffs in Mecklenburg and Buncombe Counties have put their constituents, documented and undocumented alike, in danger. Tobias Hoonhout, National Review, "North Carolina Sheriffs Attack ICE to Hide the Failures of Sanctuary Policies," 14 Nov. 2019

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

25 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Honor.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honors. Accessed 8 December 2019.

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More Definitions for honor


How to pronounce honor (audio)

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


How to pronounce honor (audio)

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 rankPlease 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with honor

Spanish Central: Translation of honor

Nglish: Translation of honor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of honor for Arabic Speakers

Comments on honor

What made you want to look up honor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to constrict the range or activity of

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