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From Latin ēmeritus (earned, served).


  • IPA(key): /ɪˈmɛɹɪtəs/
  • Hyphenation: e‧me‧ri‧tus
  • Rhymes: -ɛɹɪtəs
  • (file)


emeritus (not comparable, feminine singular emerita, masculine plural emeriti, feminine plural emeritae)

  1. (postpositive) Retired, but retaining an honorific version of a previous title.
    professor emeritus
    pontiff emeritus
    • 1912, Pennsylvania Department of Public Instruction, Report, page 250:
      The board has thus far met this problem by electing teachers unable to perform regular service as teachers emeriti, although this is only a temporary arrangement and committees of the teachers and the board are now considering the feasibility of the establishment of the retirement fund.
    • 1958, Harvard Alumni Association, Bulletin, volume 61, page 376:
      But there are also two women professors emeritae, nine clinical professors, 24 lecturers, three visiting lecturers, nine associates, 55 instructors, one tutor, 84 teaching fellows, 121 women members of research staffs, 39 assistants, and variously talented holders of otherwise unclassifiable posts.
    • 2004, Shambhala Sun, volume 13, page 226:
      JOAN SUTHERLAND is a Zen teacher and a translator of Chinese and Japanese. She is a co-founder of Pacific Zen Institute, where she is now senior teacher emerita.
    • 2006, Princeton University Press, Princeton Alumni Weekly, volume 107:
      Keller, the first woman to be granted tenure at Princeton, is one of a small but growing number of professors emeritae.
    • 2008, Lepionka, Mary Ellen, Writing and Developing Your College Textbook, second edition, Atlantic Path Publishing, →ISBN, page 53:
      Retired professors emeriti, junior or adjunct faculty, community college instructors, and transplanted or unknown scholars with exotic names, for example, may find themselves disadvantaged in the competition for textbook authorship (though not necessarily for other kinds of books).
    • 2013 February 26, Gaia Pianigiani; Elisabetta Povoledo, “Benedict XVI to Be Known as Emeritus in Retirement”, in New York Times[1]:
      Pope Benedict XVI will keep the name Benedict XVI and become the Roman pontiff emeritus or pope emeritus, the Vatican announced on Tuesday, putting an end to days of speculation on how the pope will be addressed once he ceases to be the leader of the world’s 1.1 billion Roman Catholics on Thursday.
    • 2020, Michael Miller, transl., How the Catholic Church Can Restore Our Culture, 2019, EWTN Publishing, Inc., translation of Vom Nine-Eleven unseres Glaubens by Georg Gänswein, →ISBN:
      Applied to the decision to resign, I read the formula this way: It was fitting, because Pope Benedict realized he was losing the strength necessary for his arduous office. He could do it, because long before, he had already thought out theologically, in a groundbreaking way, the possibility of popes emeriti in the future. And so then he did it.



emeritus (plural emeriti, feminine emerita)

  1. A person retired in this sense.
    • 1955, Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita:
      Oh, you veteran crime reporter, you grave old usher, you once popular policeman, now in solitary confinement after gracing that school crossing for years, you wretched emeritus read to by a boy!

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]




Borrowed from Latin ēmeritus.


  • IPA(key): [eˈmeːʁitʊs]
  • Hyphenation: eme‧ri‧tus
  • (file)


emeritus (strong nominative masculine singular emerituser, not comparable)

  1. emeritus

Further reading[edit]

  • emeritus” in Duden online
  • emeritus” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache



Perfect passive participle of ēmereō (earn, merit).


ēmeritus (feminine ēmerita, neuter ēmeritum); first/second-declension participle

  1. (having been) earned, (having been) merited
  2. (having been) served, having done one's service
    • 8 CE, Ovid, Fasti 4.688:
      dēmpserat ēmeritīs iam iuga Phoebus equīs
      Phoebus had already removed the yokes from his horses, [they] having done their service.
      (Phoebus Apollo has driven his golden chariot across the sky and put away the horses; in other words, the time is after sunset.)


First/second-declension adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative ēmeritus ēmerita ēmeritum ēmeritī ēmeritae ēmerita
Genitive ēmeritī ēmeritae ēmeritī ēmeritōrum ēmeritārum ēmeritōrum
Dative ēmeritō ēmeritō ēmeritīs
Accusative ēmeritum ēmeritam ēmeritum ēmeritōs ēmeritās ēmerita
Ablative ēmeritō ēmeritā ēmeritō ēmeritīs
Vocative ēmerite ēmerita ēmeritum ēmeritī ēmeritae ēmerita



  • emeritus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • emeritus”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • emeritus in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • emeritus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette