honor

1 of 2

noun

hon·​or ˈä-nər How to pronounce honor (audio)
1
a
: 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 office
if 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
b(1)
(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
8
a
: 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
10
a(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

honor

2 of 2

verb

hon·​or ˈä-nər How to pronounce honor (audio)
honored; honoring ˈä-nə-riŋ How to pronounce honor (audio)
ˈän-riŋ

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
honoree noun
honorer noun
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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The two-story concrete house is still unpainted, but virtually everything around it is decorated in his honor: Sidewalks and light posts are painted white and blue, and neighbors’ walls and doorways are emblazoned with murals of the star. David Feliba, Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2022 The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, and his wife, Dr. Tshepo Motsepe, are slated to visit the U.K., where a state banquet at Buckingham Palace will be held in their honor on Tuesday evening. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 17 Nov. 2022 But the 18-year-old, senior, said that receiving the Evanston Fire Department’s Marty Leoni Award and scholarship was a particularly special honor. Brian L. Cox, Chicago Tribune, 16 Nov. 2022 The family also shared a GoFundMe for a memorial fund in her honor. Malaika Jabali, Essence, 15 Nov. 2022 During a visit to China in 1986, a banquet was thrown in her honor. Janaya Wecker, Town & Country, 15 Nov. 2022 The gala in his honor will take place the day before, on Wednesday, Nov. 16. Isabela Raygoza, Billboard, 14 Nov. 2022 On the coffee table in front of her was an open Tupperware filled with brownies and macaroons, the remnants of a celebratory lunch that had just been held in her honor at the Press’s office, around the corner. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, 14 Nov. 2022 Dallas' final offensive play capped a frustrating day for McCarthy in his return to the city that has a street near Lambeau Field named in his honor. Steve Megargee, ajc, 14 Nov. 2022
Verb
The family had gathered Saturday for a vigil to honor Miller, to demand justice. Andrea May Sahouri, Detroit Free Press, 20 Nov. 2022 Potpourri 2022: Roaring for the Arts will take place at The ARTSpace on Main, 623 S. Main St., and honor the memory of Anne S. Robinson, a longtime supporter and volunteer of the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. Arkansas Online, 19 Nov. 2022 As part of the exhibition, the creators of the Ireichō are inviting visitors to place a Japanese hanko stamp next to a name in the book to acknowledge and honor each person’s history. Molly Enking, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Nov. 2022 Membership Chairperson Andrew Stern said the club has many successes to celebrate, and will also honor people and organizations with which the club has partnered. Steve Smith, Hartford Courant, 16 Nov. 2022 Dylan made a little LEGO person to honor his dad, as well. Fox News, 12 Nov. 2022 The day was created to recognize and honor the relationship formed between friends. Skyler Caruso, Peoplemag, 12 Nov. 2022 Ted Louis-Jacques, director of veterans’ services for Somerville, said the wall was a unique opportunity for residents to honor Vietnam War veterans. Adam Sennott, BostonGlobe.com, 12 Nov. 2022 As Americans pay tribute to those who’ve served in the U.S. military on this Veterans Day, Musicians On Call, wanted to make sure and honor vets getting care in VA hospitals across the country. Pam Windsor, Forbes, 11 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French onur, honur, from Latin honos, honor

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of honor was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near honor

Cite this Entry

“Honor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honor. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

honor 1 of 2

noun

hon·​or ˈän-ər How to pronounce honor (audio)
1
a
: a good name or public admiration : reputation
b
: a showing of respect : recognition
a dinner in honor of a new coach
2
: privilege entry 1
whom have I the honor of addressing
3
a
capitalized
used especially as a title for an official of high rank (as a judge)
if your Honor please
b
: one whose worth brings respect or fame : credit
an honor to your profession
4
a
: evidence or a symbol of great respect (as a title or medal)
b
plural : special credit or recognition given to graduating students for high achievement
also : a course of study for advanced students that is in place of or in addition to regular courses
5
b
: high moral standards of behavior : integrity
a person of honor
6
plural : courteous actions of a host or hostess
did the honors at the table

honor

2 of 2

verb

honored; honoring ˈän-(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce honor (audio)
1
a
: to treat with honor : respect
honor your parents
b
: to give an honor to
2
: to fulfill the terms of
honored the contract

Legal Definition

honor

transitive verb

hon·​or
honored; honoring
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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