retired or honorably discharged from active professional duty, but retaining the title of one's office or position: dean emeritus of the graduate school; editor in chief emeritus.
noun, plural emeriti [ih-mer-i-tahy, -tee] .
an emeritus professor, minister, etc.

1785–95; < Latin ēmeritus having fully earned (past participle of ēmerēre), equivalent to ē- e-1 + meri- earn + -tus past participle suffix

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emeritus (ɪˈmɛrɪtəs)
(usually postpositive) retired or honourably discharged from full-time work, but retaining one's title on an honorary basis: a professor emeritus
[C19: from Latin, from merēre to deserve; see merit]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

c.1600, from L. emeritus "veteran soldier who has served his time," pp. of emerere "serve out, complete one's service," from ex- "out" + merere "to serve, earn." First used of retired professors 1794 in Amer.Eng.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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