honour

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See also: Honour

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • honor (American spelling)

Etymology[edit]

From Anglo-Norman honour, honur, from Old French honor, from Latin honor. Displaced native Middle English menske (honor, dignity among men), from Old English mensk (honor).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

honour (countable and uncountable, plural honours) (British)

  1. (uncountable) Recognition of importance or value; respect; veneration (of someone, usually for being morally upright and/or competent).
    The crowds gave the returning general much honor and praise.
    • The King James Bible, Matthew 13.57:
      A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country.
    • 1902, Richard Francis Weymouth, Translation of the New Testament of the Bible, Book 60, 1 Peter 2:4:
      Come to Him, the ever-living Stone, rejected indeed by men as worthless, but in God's esteem chosen and held in honour.
  2. (uncountable) The state of being morally upright, honest, noble, virtuous, and magnanimous; the perception of such a state; favourable reputation; dignity.
    His honour is at stake.
    She swore on her honour.
  3. (archaic) Excellence of character; high moral worth; virtue.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Shakespeare:
      If she have forgot / Honour and virtue.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Milton:
      Godlike erect, with native honour clad.
  4. (countable) A token of praise or respect; something that represents praiseworthiness or respect, such as an award given by the state to a citizen.
    Honours are normally awarded twice a year: on The Queen's Birthday in June and at the New Year.
    He wore an honour on his breast.
    military honours; civil honours
    Audie Murphy received many honors, such as the Distinguished Service Cross.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Dryden:
      their funeral honours
  5. A privilege.
    I had the honour of dining with the ambassador.
  6. (in the plural) The privilege of going first.
    I'll let you have the honors, Bob—go ahead.
  7. A cause of respect and fame; a glory; an excellency; an ornament.
    He is an honour to his nation.
  8. (feudal law) A seigniory or lordship held of the king, on which other lordships and manors depended.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Cowell to this entry?)
  9. (heraldry) The centre point of the upper half of an armorial escutcheon; also honour point.
  10. (card games) In bridge, an ace, king, queen, jack, or ten especially of the trump suit. In some other games, an ace, king, queen or jack.
  11. (golf) The right to play one's ball before one's opponent plays his.
  12. (in the plural) =honours degree: a university qualification of the highest rank.
    At university I took honours in modern history.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

honour (third-person singular simple present honours, present participle honouring, simple past and past participle honoured)

  1. (transitive) To think of highly, to respect highly, to recognise the importance or spiritual value of.
    The freedom fighters will be forever remembered and honoured by the people.
  2. (transitive) To confer an honour or privilege upon (someone).
    Ten members of the profession were honoured at the ceremony.
    The prince honoured me with an invitation to his birthday banquet.
  3. (transitive) To conform to, abide by, act in accordance with (an agreement, treaty, promise, request, or the like).
    I trusted you, but you have not honoured your promise.
    refuse to honor the test ban treaty
  4. (transitive) To make payment in respect of (a cheque, banker's draft etc).
    I'm sorry Sir, but the bank did not honour your cheque.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Middle English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Anglo-Norman honour.

Noun[edit]

honour (plural honours)

  1. honour

Descendants[edit]

References[edit]

p. 1, Arthur; A Short Sketch of his Life and History in English Verse of the First Half of the Fifteenth Century, Frederick Furnivall ed. EETS. Trübner & Co.: London. 1864.


Old French[edit]

Noun[edit]

honour m (oblique plural honours, nominative singular honours, nominative plural honour)

  1. Late Anglo-Norman spelling of honur
    [] prierent au roi qe mesme le cont purroit estre restorez a ses noun et honour de marquys queux il avoit pardevant.
    [] prayed to the king that even the count could be restored to his name and his honour of marquee that he had before