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[on-er-uh-buh l] /ˈɒn ər ə bəl/
in accordance with or characterized by principles of honor; upright:
They were all honorable men.
of high rank, dignity, or distinction; noble, illustrious, or distinguished.
worthy of honor and high respect; estimable; creditable.
bringing honor or credit; consistent with honor.
(initial capital letter)
  1. (used as a title of respect for certain ranking government officials.)
  2. British. (used as a title of courtesy for children of peers ranking below a marquis.)
    Abbreviation: Hon.
Origin of honorable
1300-50; Middle English hono(u)rable < Anglo-French (Middle French honorable) < Latin honōrābilis. See honor, -able
Related forms
honorableness, noun
honorably, adverb
quasi-honorable, adjective
quasi-honorably, adverb
1. honest, noble, just.
1. ignoble. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for honorable
  • Barring that, he had said, he wanted to leave the service with an honorable discharge.
  • Your attempt to promote an interactive approach and exchange of ideas is honorable.
  • Cheating the government out of tax revenue was seen as an honorable activity.
  • Bashing skeptics will not help restore the credibility of this honorable profession.
  • These were the practiced words of honorable exchanges at the time.
  • My favorite is the wee octopus, but the crab spider here deserves an honorable mention.
  • While being a military veteran is an honorable thing, it apparently is not typical.
  • In addition seven honorable mentions will be awarded.
  • These days nobody does the honorable thing on their own volition, any more.
  • Making anonymous accusatory phone calls or spreading hearsay up a chain of command is not an honorable thing to do.
British Dictionary definitions for honorable


/ˈɒnərəbəl; ˈɒnrəbəl/
possessing or characterized by high principles: honourable intentions
worthy of or entitled to honour or esteem
consistent with or bestowing honour
Derived Forms
honourableness, (US) honorableness, noun
honourably, (US) honorably, adverb


/ˈɒnərəbəl; ˈɒnrəbəl/
(prenominal) the Honourable, a title of respect placed before a name: employed before the names of various officials in the English-speaking world, as a courtesy title in Britain for the children of viscounts and barons and the younger sons of earls, and in Parliament by one member speaking of another Hon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for honorable

early 14c. (mid-13c. as a surname), from Old French honorable, from Latin honorabilis "that procures honor, estimable, honorable," from honorare "to honor" (see honor (n.)). Related: Honorably.

"Now, George, you must divide the cake honorably with your brother Charlie."--George: "What is 'honorably,' mother?" "It means that you must give him the largest piece."--George: "Then, mother, I should rather Charlie would cut it." ["Smart Sayings of Bright Children," collected by Howard Paul, 1886]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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