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honorific Line breaks: hon¦or|if¦ic
Pronunciation: /ɒnəˈrɪfɪk/

Definition of honorific in English:


1Given as a mark of respect but having few or no duties: he was elevated to the honorific status of ‘Dom
More example sentences
  • Thus, in the case of an honorific status, no powers are associated with it, according to him.
  • Many Mexican officers held honorific commissions but knew little about military matters.
  • The president will determine whether the individual is to continue in the endowed or honorific position and will notify the individual of the decision.
1.1(Of a form of address) showing respect: an honorific title for addressing women
More example sentences
  • They refused to use honorific titles and deferential forms of address such as your excellency, my lord, because they were not literally true.
  • Twinam begins and concludes her book with the story of a Medellín merchant Gabriel Muñoz who initiated a law suit because a royal official did not address him by the honorific title Don.
  • On arrival at the home of the bereaved, the orator representing the visitors stands outside the hut, addresses the dead person with an honorific string of titles, and then speaks to everyone present.


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A title or word implying or expressing respect: a sociolinguistic investigation of honorifics and their usage
More example sentences
  • But when you log on to book tickets for our National Theatre they do better than that; they give you no less than forty appellations, titles, ranks or honorifics to choose from.
  • Nahuatl once had an extensive system of honorifics, which affected not only the choice of pronouns, but also the forms of verbs, nouns, and pronouns.
  • When Japanese people say that someone else speaks ‘beautiful Japanese’, they very often mean that the other person has an excellent command of the use of honorifics, which is one of the major features of Japanese.


Mid 17th century: from Latin honorificus, from honor 'honour'.



Example sentences
  • Maybe Drezner is using the term ‘sport’ honorifically.

Words that rhyme with honorific

anaglyphic, beatific, calorific, colorific, hieroglyphic, horrific, Indo-Pacific, pacific, prolific, scientific, soporific, specific, terrific, transpacific, triglyphic

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