honorable mention

noun
a citation conferred on a contestant, exhibit, etc., having exceptional merit though not winning a top honor or prize.

Origin:
1865–70

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To honorable mention
Example sentences
Time deserves an honorable mention here, as it stopped midway and left
  something for later.
Other entries of special merit will be recognized with certificates of
  honorable mention.
Unless noted, state players of the year are honorable mention selections.
In addition, seven non-monetary honorable mention distinctions were made.
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