Definition of honour in English:

honour

Line breaks: hon¦our
Pronunciation: /ˈɒnə
 
/
(US honor)

noun

1 [mass noun] High respect; great esteem: his portrait hangs in the place of honour
More example sentences
  • The women emphasized the importance of reclaiming tradition and returning honour and respect to women for the roles they perform in their families and communities.
  • They were given oats, meal, turnips, in honour and respect for the way in which they cared for and kept Jesus warm on the night of his birth, with their breath, in the cold stable.
  • It is the duty of all families to teach honour and respect for women to their sons.
Synonyms
distinction, privilege, glory, tribute, kudos, cachet, prestige, fame, renown, merit, credit, importance, illustriousness, notability;
respect, esteem, approbation
1.1 [in singular] A person or thing that brings esteem: you are an honour to our profession
More example sentences
  • The book, as Mickie points out, is an honour to the memory of Harin Da.
  • You are an honor to your husband and your country and yourself.
  • He is the epitome of an American hero, he is an honor to our nation.
1.2 (His, Your, etc. Honour) A title of respect or form of address given to a circuit judge, a US mayor, and (in Irish or rustic speech) any person of rank.
More example sentences
  • Judge Brodrick's father, His Honour, Judge Norman Brodrick, QC, was Recorder of Portsmouth.
  • The Appellant was tried by His Honour Judge Cavell and a jury between 15th and 26th November 1999.
  • Of course not, Your Honour, nothing could be further from the truth.
2The quality of knowing and doing what is morally right: I must as a matter of honour avoid any taint of dishonesty
More example sentences
  • Chivalry is defined as a combination of qualities including courage, honour, courtesy and a readiness to help the weak.
  • It is a depressing thought that any nation of free people would sell its honour so cheaply.
  • As a future parent, I hope to raise a son who will understand and exhibit the qualities of faith, honor, and integrity.
Synonyms
2.1 dated A woman’s chastity or her reputation for being chaste: she died defending her honour
More example sentences
  • Few have heard of Col. Ralston but he was a fearless defender of western Christian values and the honor of chaste young women.
  • A tremendous amount of energy is spent to either preserve the honor of a maiden, or to take it from her.
  • Several Dutch historians have pointed out that when it concerned reputation, women were anxious to preserve their sexual honour.
Synonyms
3Something regarded as a rare opportunity and bringing pride and pleasure; a privilege: Mrs Young had the honour of being received by the Queen
More example sentences
  • Last, but not least, I deem it an honour and a rare privilege to write about her.
  • Serving with a parliamentarian of Richard Prebble's calibre has been a rare honour and privilege.
  • This opportunity is an honor and a privilege and I think it is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Synonyms
privilege, pleasure, pride, satisfaction, joy, compliment, favour, source of pleasure, source of pride
3.1A thing conferred as a distinction, especially an official award for bravery or achievement: the highest military honours
More example sentences
  • His knighthood is the latest of dozens of awards and honours conferred on him.
  • The key to preparing successful nominations for honours, awards and decorations is to read and follow the guidelines provided.
  • The Geological Society of London awarded him its highest honour, the Wollaston Medal, for his pioneering work in marine geology and sedimentology.
Synonyms
accolade, award, reward, prize, decoration, distinction, order, title, medal, ribbon, star, laurel, laurel wreath, bay, palm
Military , informal fruit salad
British informal gong
3.2 (honours) A special distinction for proficiency in an examination: she passed with honours
More example sentences
  • She overcame his resistance, qualified with honours, and set up practice in London.
  • After playing the electronic keyboard for several years, he took his grade 5 exam and passed with honours.
  • Out of 60 exams taken, 33 passed with Honours and the remaining 27 with Highly Commended.
3.3 (honours) A course of degree studies more specialized than for an ordinary pass: [as modifier]: an honours degree in mathematics
More example sentences
  • He is hoping to continue his studies and gain an honours degree in natural sciences.
  • After two years she quit in favour of a sound engineering course in Glasgow, followed by an honours degree course in world religions.
  • Unlike traditional honours degrees, the courses are designed in conjunction with employers to meet skills shortages.
3.4 Golf The right of driving off first, having won the previous hole: Kyle had the honour at the last hole
More example sentences
  • Much has been made of the way Woods played the 72nd hole in Dubai, ending up with a double bogey seven, but all credit to Bjorn who birdied the previous hole to win the honour and then sent a cracking drive down the last.
  • For example, if he has the honor and hits his tee shot into the woods, you may want to forget about hitting your driver and choose a 3-wood or long iron instead, just to keep the ball in play.
4 Bridge An ace, king, queen, jack, or ten.
More example sentences
  • There are five honours, viz: - Ace, King, Queen, Knave and Ten, if trumps are declared.
  • As there is no skill in scoring for honours, players often agree to play without the honour bonuses.
  • A side which held three of the four honours can claim 2 points for them.
4.1 (honours) Possession in one’s hand of at least four of the ace, king, queen, jack, and ten of trumps, or of all four aces in no trumps, for which a bonus is scored.
4.2(In whist) an ace, king, queen, or jack of trumps.
More example sentences
  • A partnership which between them held all four honours in their hands score an extra 4 points, which they claim at the end of the play.
  • Points are also scored for honors, which are the Ace, King, Queen, and Jack of trumps.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1Regard with great respect: Joyce has now learned to honour her father’s memory (as adjective honoured) an honoured guest
More example sentences
  • His son John Scott Junior was among honoured guests invited for the occasion.
  • Another honoured guest was the Consulate General of Japan for Cultural Affairs, who also attended the ceremonies.
  • Thus we should be honoured guests when we enter these establishments.
Synonyms
hold in great respect, hold in high esteem, have a high regard for, esteem, respect, admire, defer to, look up to, think highly of;
appreciate, value, prize, cherish;
informal put on a pedestal
1.1Pay public respect to: talented writers were honoured at a special ceremony
More example sentences
  • Tens of thousands of people turned out on Saturday for public events to honour the sacrifices of the war veterans and fallen soldiers.
  • Children who attend public schools honor the national flag and sing the national anthem every Monday morning.
  • As students sporting mortarboards and clutching scrolls are awarded their degrees in July, the university takes the opportunity to honour public figures for their achievements.
Synonyms
applaud, acclaim, praise, salute, recognize, celebrate, commemorate, commend, glorify, hail, lionize, exalt, fete, eulogize, give credit to, pay homage to, pay tribute to, show appreciation of, give accolades to, sing the praises of, sing paeans to
archaic magnify
rare laud, panegyrize, emblazon
2Fulfil (an obligation) or keep (an agreement): make sure the franchisees honour the terms of the contract
More example sentences
  • This Parliament should have honoured those agreements; it should have honoured its obligations.
  • If she died before the settlement was rubber-stamped, the State would have had no legal obligation to honour the agreement.
  • They weren't happy about the payments but they never the less honoured their obligation to tour here.
Synonyms
fulfil, observe, keep, discharge, implement, perform, execute, effect, obey, heed, follow, carry out, carry through, keep to, abide by, adhere to, comply with, conform to, act in accordance with, be true to, be faithful to, live up to
2.1Accept (a bill) or pay (a cheque) when due: the bank informed him that the cheque would not be honoured
More example sentences
  • In the first place, he instructs the drawee to honour the bill.
  • Since then, no other suitor has come forward for the troubled automaker and some fear if the company fails to honor the bills Tuesday, it will become even harder for it to find a foreign partner or buyer.
  • A bank can also refuse to honour company cheques if the company is not on the register.
Synonyms
cash, accept, take, clear, pass, encash, convert into cash, convert into money

Origin

Middle English: from Old French onor (noun), onorer (verb), from Latin honos, honor.

Phrases

do the honours

informal Perform a social duty for others, especially the serving of food or drink to a guest: ‘Don’t worry, I’ll do the honours.’ She reached for the teapot and poured
More example sentences
  • There will be a disco from 9 pm to midnight and a mystery guest will do the honours in presenting the medals.
  • The march leaders decided not to cross the road to present the memorandum to Godec, instead handing the document to a police captain on duty to do the honours.
  • After a brief warm-up, the assembled musicians played ‘Blood on the Tracks’ from beginning to end, rotating in several of the guest artists as vocalists to do the honors on some of the album's key songs.

honour bright

British dated On my honour: I’ll never do it again, honour bright, I won’t
[from Thomas Moore's Tom Cribb's Memorial to Congress (1819)]
More example sentences
  • Honour bright, Your Majesty, I'm telling you the truth.
  • I promised him, honour bright, it was only between me and him.

honours are even

British There is equality in the contest: they are meeting in the final for the fifth time with honours even
More example sentences
  • In total Northampton have made 19 League trips to York and honours are even with seven wins to each club and five draws.
  • Brighton have made 11 previous league visits and honours are even with five wins to each club and one draw.
  • Overall, though, honours are even: seven wins each.

in honour bound

another way of saying on one's honour below.
More example sentences
  • I feel in honor bound to warn readers that the Onion is a satirical publication, and this post is a joke… However, I do think that there is a serious point to be made here.
  • Every soldier who fights here with me must realize that he is in honour bound not to retreat one step.
  • She has deliberately broken this treaty, and we were in honour bound to stand by it.

in honour of

As a celebration of or expression of respect for: a dinner given in honour of Nevinson
More example sentences
  • There were great celebrations in Castlegregory in honour of the world champions.
  • Family members and friends joined May for a special celebration in honour of the occasion.
  • We do hope to see both young and old at this celebration in honour of our Lady.

on one's honour

Under a moral obligation: they are on their honour as gentlemen not to cheat
More example sentences
  • I wish I could tell you all about the preparation we've made, but as you see by the green envelope we are put on our honour not to do so.
  • When you read this message, you are on your honor to delete all files from your hard drive.
  • As a vice-principal commented, ‘Every school was put on their honour’ to promote better eating habits.
(on (or upon) my honour) Used as an expression of sincerity: I promise on my honour
More example sentences
  • Do you swear on your honor that you will never be swayed by her?
  • She made them all promise on their honor to return, and they did.
  • She had sworn on her honor that she wouldn't let Ramirez kill Leon.

there's honour among thieves

proverb Dishonest people may have certain standards of behaviour which they will respect.
More example sentences
  • There may be honor among thieves, but there's NONE in politicians!
  • If you write about yourself the slightest deviation makes you realize instantly that there may be honor among thieves, but you are just a dirty liar.

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