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[on-uh-rer-ee] /ˈɒn əˌrɛr i/
given for honor only, without the usual requirements, duties, privileges, emoluments, etc.:
The university presented the new governor with an honorary degree.
holding a title or position conferred for honor only:
an honorary president.
(of an obligation) depending on one's honor for fulfillment.
conferring or commemorating honor or distinction.
given, made, or serving as a token of honor:
an honorary gift.
Origin of honorary
1605-15; < Latin honōrārius relating to honor. See honor, -ary
Related forms
[on-uh-rair-uh-lee] /ˌɒn əˈrɛər ə li/ (Show IPA),
adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for honorary
  • Turner also declined to accept an honorary doctor-of-human-letters degree, which he was supposed to receive at the ceremony.
  • He was awarded honorary degrees by two universities.
  • He holds honorary degrees from a number of universities around the world.
  • No fewer than seven different universities have awarded him honorary degrees.
  • More so than medical doctors, who only hold honorary doctorates.
  • Jack has been awarded honorary doctoral degrees for his contributions to the field of wildlife conservation.
  • But at this point in his career, he is basically an honorary cop.
  • She later sided with the communists, who gave her an honorary position in government.
  • honorary brother, uncle and true friend to three generations of our family.
  • As an honorary spokeswoman, she traveled to various countries and learned about the realities of poverty.
British Dictionary definitions for honorary


/ˈɒnərərɪ; ˈɒnrərɪ/
adjective (usually prenominal)
  1. (esp of a position, title, etc) held or given only as an honour, without the normal privileges or duties: an honorary degree
  2. (of a secretary, treasurer, etc) unpaid
having such a position or title
depending on honour rather than legal agreement
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 honorary

early 17c., from honor + -ary; possibly influenced by French honoraire, Latin honorarius "pertaining to honor, honorary."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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