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 For two of the younger swimmers seeking high honors at the 46th IHSAA Girls Swimming and Diving Finals at the Natatorium at IUPUI, there seems to be a common theme: a clear mind. Lewis Bagley, Indianapolis Star, "On first night at IHSAA girls swimming state finals, northside youth enjoys hot start," 15 Feb. 2020 Susan Globe also has started a garden in her daughter's honor at the Yampa River Botanic Park. Ella Torres, ABC News, "Parents of college student who died after taking fentanyl want to shed light on 'ugly subject'," 15 Feb. 2020 She was given full police honors at her funeral, which was attended by police from across the state. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Freeport Police Department names new K9 after the late Abigail Arias, 7-year-old honorary cop," 14 Feb. 2020 Tickets for Kobe Bryant's memorial service in Los Angeles will run between $24.02 to $224 in honor uniform numbers worn by the all-time basketball great and his daughter, organizers announced on Friday. NBC News, "Details emerge for Kobe Bryant memorial service in Los Angeles," 14 Feb. 2020 After the ceremony, the bride, groom, maid-of-honor and best man loaded into a car with tin cans tied to the back. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "He asked her out to make another girl jealous. Now they've been married for 50 years and own a winery together.," 13 Feb. 2020 Junior guard Zay Freeney has been the leader on the court and in the classroom, an honors student who leads the Jaguars with 15.6 points a game. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Community award given to South Mountain JV basketball coach during last game," 12 Feb. 2020 The Academy has long acknowledged that great filmmaking exists outside the United States, but has never gone as far as to bestow a production from another country with the industry’s highest honor—despite ample opportunities to do so. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "Will the historic win for “Parasite” mark the start of a truly global Oscars?," 10 Feb. 2020 The Cook Inlet Conference heaped honors on the West Eagles on Saturday, naming Nate Shasby the coach of the year and putting six players on the all-conference team. Anchorage Daily News, "West Eagles land coach, six players on all-CIC hockey team," 9 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There is so much malfeasance on the part of people in the executive branch right now, but the fact is, our responsibility is to honor our oath of office to protect and defend. John Parkinson, ABC News, "Pelosi accuses Trump of abusing power by interfering in Roger Stone case," 13 Feb. 2020 That’s how one mourner referred to basketball legend Kobe Bryant on Monday during a memorial service that honored three victims of the helicopter crash that killed Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "'Angels are looking down on us': Altobelli family members who died in helicopter crash remembered at Angel Stadium," 11 Feb. 2020 Spike Lee wore a suit that honored the late basketball star Kobe Bryant, in the Los Angeles Lakers’s purple and gold team colors and with Mr. Bryant’s jersey number, 24, on his jacket’s lapels and back. Ray A. Smith, WSJ, "On the Red Carpet, Style Triumphs Over Soggy Weather," 10 Feb. 2020 In the weeks since the tragic crash, Vanessa has shared tributes, videos and photos to honor the memories of Kobe and Gianna. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Vanessa Bryant opens up about grieving Kobe and Gianna in heartbreaking post," 10 Feb. 2020 Texas also observed Confederate Heroes Day, which honors Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and other Confederate heroes, on January 19th. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Virginia eliminates holiday celebrating two Confederate generals," 7 Feb. 2020 Allen introduced a 2020 proposal in December that honored 10 Wisconsinites, most of whom are white, who helped free black slaves with the Underground Railroad. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Waukesha lawmaker drops Black History Month proposal that honored mostly white abolitionists," 4 Feb. 2020 Meantime, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira wowed viewers with their high-energy Super Bowl halftime show that honored the Miami venue's Latino roots. NBC News, "Iowa caucuses, Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl comeback, and JLo and Shakira make halftime history: The Morning Rundown," 3 Feb. 2020 To honor her sweet 16, Millie Bobby Brown is releasing a six-piece Florence by Mills birthday collection. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Millie Bobby Brown’s New Florence by Mills Makeup Collection Drops Today and It’s All Inspired By Her Sweet 16," 3 Feb. 2020

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

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Honor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honor. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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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

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