Why was clemency trending last week?


[on-uh-rif-ik] /ˌɒn əˈrɪf ɪk/
Also, honorifical. doing or conferring honor.
conveying honor, as a title or a grammatical form used in speaking to or about a superior, elder, etc.
(in certain languages, as Chinese and Japanese) a class of forms used to show respect, especially in direct address.
a title or term of respect.
Origin of honorific
1640-50; < Latin honōrificus honor-making. See honor, -i-, -fic
Related forms
honorifically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for honorific
  • The salary for the largely honorific president is to be more than halved.
  • He says it with affection, an honorific won from my ability to make his phone read his e-mail.
  • It has encouraged the perception that his presence in government is purely honorific.
  • When asked politely, she'd explain that it was an honorific for one who protects the group.
  • As more nurses, pharmacists and physical therapists claim this honorific, physicians are fighting back.
  • In some cases an honorific or a patronymic name may be used.
  • The common honorific for all university faculty members.
  • The position of elector is largely honorific, often a reward for past service to the political party.
British Dictionary definitions for honorific


showing or conferring honour or respect
  1. (of a pronoun, verb inflection, etc) indicating the speaker's respect for the addressee or his acknowledgment of inferior status
  2. (as noun): a Japanese honorific
Derived Forms
honorifically, adverb
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 honorific

1640s, from Latin honorificus "that which does honor," from honorem (see honor (n.)) + -ficus "making," from stem of facere "make, do" (see factitious). As a noun, by 1867.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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