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Description: Honor
File name: Honor

noun hon·or \ˈä-nər\

  • : 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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of honor

  1. 1 a :  good name or public esteem :  reputation b :  a showing of usually merited respect :  recognition <pay honor to our founder>

  2. 2 :  privilege <had the honor of joining the captain for dinner>

  3. 3 :  a person of superior standing —now used especially as a title for a holder of high office <if Your Honor please>

  4. 4 :  one whose worth brings respect or fame :  credit <an honor to the profession>

  5. 5 :  the center point of the upper half of an armorial escutcheon

  6. 6 :  an evidence or symbol of distinction: as a :  an exalted title or rank b (1)badge, decoration (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 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. 7 :  chastity, purity <fought fiercely for her honor and her life — Barton Black>

  8. 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. 9 plural :  social courtesies or civilities extended by a host <asked her to do the honors>

  10. 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

See honor defined for English-language learners

See honor defined for kids

Examples of honor in a sentence

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. “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

  4. These people deserve to be treated with honor.

  5. The team brought honor to the school.

  6. The building was named in honor of the city's founder.

  7. He was prepared to fight to defend his family's honor.

  8. She has a keen sense of honor.

  9. He would not do it as a matter of honor.

  10. He's a man of honor.

  11. It was an honor to be invited.

Origin and Etymology of honor

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

First Known Use: 13th century

Other Forms of Address Terms

appellation, beatitude, brethren, emeritus, esquire, sire, sous

Rhymes with honor

Bonner, fawner, goner, spawner

verb hon·or \ˈä-nər\

  • : 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)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of honor



play \ˈä-nə-riŋ, ˈän-riŋ\
  1. transitive verb
  2. 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

  3. 2 a :  to live up to or fulfill the terms of <honor a commitment> b :  to accept as payment <honor a credit card>

  4. 3 :  to salute with a bow in square dancing


play \ˌä-nə-ˈrē\ noun


play \ˈä-nər-ər\ noun

See honor defined for English-language learners

Examples of honor in a sentence

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. “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

  5. When we got married, we promised to love and honor each other.

  6. We were honored with the queen's presence.

  7. She has been honored by several organizations for her charitable works.

  8. We need to find an appropriate way to honor these brave people.

  9. They have established a scholarship as a way to honor his memory.

  10. They are accused of failing to honor their debts.

Origin and Etymology of honor

(see 1honor)

First Known Use: 13th century

Other Dance Terms

attitude, saltatory, sashay, taw

Phrases related to HONOR

Related Phrases

  • guest of honor
  • word of honor
  • badge of honor/pride
  • do (someone) the honor
  • do the honors
  • full military honors
  • honor bound
  • in honor of
  • in (someone's) honor
  • on one's honor
  • place of honor
  • redound to someone's credit/honor

HONOR Defined for Kids

Law Dictionary

Learn More about honor

  1. Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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