- honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions: a man of honor.
- a source of credit or distinction: to be an honor to one’s family.
- high respect, as for worth, merit, or rank: to be held in honor.
- such respect manifested: a memorial in honor of the dead.
- high public esteem; fame; glory: He has earned his position of honor.
- the privilege of being associated with or receiving a favor from a respected person, group, organization, etc.: to have the honor of serving on a prize jury; I have the honor of introducing this evening’s speaker.
- Usually honors. evidence, as a special ceremony, decoration, scroll, or title, of high rank, dignity, or distinction: political honors; military honors.
- (initial capital letter) a deferential title of respect, especially for judges and mayors (preceded by His, Her, Your, etc.).
- special rank or distinction conferred by a university, college, or school upon a student for eminence in scholarship or success in some particular subject.
- an advanced course of study for superior students.Compare honors course.
- chastity or purity in a woman.
- Also called honor card. Cards.
- Bridge.any of the five highest trump cards, as an ace, king, queen, jack, or ten in the trump suit, or any of the four aces in a no-trump contract.Compare honor trick.
- Whist.any of the four highest trump cards, as an ace, king, queen, or jack in the trump suit.
- Golf. the privilege of teeing off before the other player or side, given after the first hole to the player or side that won the previous hole.
verb (used with object)
- to hold in honor or high respect; revere: to honor one’s parents.
- to treat with honor.
- to confer honor or distinction upon: The university honored him with its leadership award.
- to worship (the Supreme Being).
- to show a courteous regard for: to honor an invitation.
- Commerce. to accept or pay (a draft, check, etc.): All credit cards are honored here.
- to accept as valid and conform to the request or demands of (an official document).
- (in square dancing) to meet or salute with a bow.
- of, relating to, or noting honor.
- be on/upon one’s honor, to accept and acknowledge personal responsibility for one’s actions: West Point cadets are on their honor not to cheat on an exam.
- do honor to,
- to show respect to.
- to be a credit to: Such good students would do honor to any teacher.
- do the honors, to serve or preside as host, as in introducing people, or carving or serving at table: Father did the honors at the family Thanksgiving dinner.
- the US spelling of honour
n.c.1200, “glory, renown, fame earned,” from Anglo-French honour, Old French honor (Modern French honneur), from Latin honorem (nominative honos, later honor) “honor, dignity, office, reputation,” of unknown origin. Till 17c., honour and honor were equally frequent; the former now preferred in England, the latter in U.S. by influence of Noah Webster’s spelling reforms. Meaning “a woman’s chastity” first attested late 14c. Honors “distinction in scholarship” attested by 1782. Honor roll in the scholastic sense attested by 1872. To do the honors (1650s) originally meant the customary civilities and courtesies at a public entertainment, etc. v.mid-13c., honuren, “to do honor to,” from Old French honorer, from Latin honorare, from honor (see honor (n.)). In the commercial sense of “accept a bill due, etc.,” it is recorded from 1706. Related: Honored; honoring. A custom more honoured in the breach than the observance. Whoever will look up the passage (Hamlet I. iv. 16) will see that it means, beyond a doubt, a custom that one deserves more honour for breaking than for keeping: but it is often quoted in the wrong & very different sense of a dead letter or rule more often broken than kept. [Fowler] In addition to the idiom beginning with honor