What does honour mean?

Definitions for honour
ˈɒn ərhon·our

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word honour.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. honor, honour, laurelsnoun

    the state of being honored

  2. award, accolade, honor, honour, laurelsnoun

    a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction

    "an award for bravery"

  3. honor, honournoun

    the quality of being honorable and having a good name

    "a man of honor"

  4. honor, honour, purity, purenessverb

    a woman's virtue or chastity

  5. honor, honour, rewardverb

    bestow honor or rewards upon

    "Today we honor our soldiers"; "The scout was rewarded for courageous action"

  6. respect, honor, honour, abide by, observeverb

    show respect towards

    "honor your parents!"

  7. honor, honourverb

    accept as pay

    "we honor checks and drafts"


  1. honournoun

    recognition of importance or spiritual value; respect

  2. honournoun

    favourable reputation; dignity; sense of self-worth

  3. honournoun

    An objectification of praiseworthiness 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.

  4. honournoun

    A privilege.

    I had the honour of dining with the ambassador.

  5. honournoun

    The centre point of the upper half of an armorial escutcheon; also honour point.

  6. honournoun

    In bridge, an ace, king, queen, jack, or ten especially of the trump suit. In some other games, an ace, king, queen or jack.

  7. honournoun

    The right to play one's ball before one's opponent plays his.

  8. honournoun

    For honours degree, a university qualification of the highest rank.

    At university I took honours in modern history.

  9. honourverb

    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.

  10. honourverb

    To confer an honour or privilege upon (someone).

  11. honourverb

    To conform with, obey (e.g. a treaty or promise)

    I trusted you, but you have not honoured your promise.

  12. honourverb

    To make payment in respect of (a cheque, banker's draft etc).

    I'm sorry Sir, but the bank did not honour your cheque.

  13. Honournoun

    A female given name from English, a less common spelling of Honor.

  14. Etymology: From honour, honur, from honor, from honor.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. HONOURnoun

    Etymology: honeur, French; honor, Latin.

    A man is an ill husband of his honour, that entereth into any action, the failing wherein may disgrace him more than the carrying of it through can honour him. Francis Bacon, Essays.

    Return unto thy lord,
    Bid him not fear the separated councils:
    His honour and myself are at the one;
    And at the other is my good friend Catesby. William Shakespeare, R. III.

    Thou happy father,
    Think that the clearest gods, who make them honours
    Of man’s impossibilities, have preserv’d thee. William Shakespeare.

    Now shall I see thy love; what motive may
    Be stronger with thee than the name of wife?
    —— That which upholdeth him, that thee upholds,
    His honour. Oh, thine honour, Lewis; thine honour. William Shakespeare.

    If by honour is meant any thing distinct from conscience, ’tis no more than a regard to the censure and esteem of the world. John Rogers, Sermons.

    They take thee for their mother,
    And every day do honour to thy grave. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    There, my lord,
    The high promotion of his grace of Canterbury,
    Who holds his state at door, ’mongst pursuivants.
    ———— Ha! ’tis he, indeed!
    Is this the honour they do one another? William Shakespeare, Hen. VIII.

    This is a duty in the fifth commandment, required towards our prince and our parent, under the name of honour; a respect, which, in the notion of it, implies a mixture of love and fear, and, in the object, equally supposes goodness and power. John Rogers, Sermons.

    Be she honour flaw’d,
    I have three daughters, the eldest is eleven;
    If this prove true, they’ll pay for’t. William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale.

    She dwells so securely on the excellency of her honour, that the folly of my soul dares not prevent itself: she is too bright to be looked against. William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor.

    Two of far nobler shape, erect and tall,
    Godlike erect! with native honour clad,
    In naked majesty, seem’d lords of all. John Milton, Parad. Lost.

    A late eminent person, the honour of his profession for integrity and learning. Thomas Burnet, Theory of the Earth.

    He saw his friends, who whelm’d beneath the waves,
    Their fun’ral honours claim’d, and ask’d their quiet graves. John Dryden, Æn. b. vi.

    Such discourses, on such mournful occasions as these, were instituted not so much in honour of the dead, as for the use of the living. Francis Atterbury, Sermons.

    Numbers engage their lives and labours, some to heap together a little dirt that shall bury them in the end; others to gain an honour, that, at best, can be celebrated but by an inconsiderable part of the world, and is envied and calumniated by more than ’tis truly given. William Wake, Preparation for Death.

    Henry the seventh, truly pitying
    My father’s loss, like a most royal prince,
    Restor’d to me my honours; and, from ruins,
    Made my name once more noble. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

    Then here a slave, or if you will a lord,
    To do the honours, and to give the word. Alexander Pope, Horace.

    The sire then shook the honours of his head,
    And from his brows damps of oblivion shed. Dryden.

    My hand to thee, my honour on my promise. William Shakespeare.

  2. To Honourverb

    Etymology: honnorer, French; honoro, Latin.

    He was called our father, and was continually honoured of all men, as the next person unto the king. Esth. xvi. 11.

    The poor man is honoured for his skill, and the rich man is honoured for his riches. Ecclus. x. 30.

    He that is honoured in poverty, how much more in riches? Ecclus. x. 31.

    How lov’d, how honour’d once, avails thee not. Alexander Pope.

    In soothing them, we nourish ’gainst our senate
    The cockle of rebellion, insolence, sedition,
    Which we ourselves have plow’d for, sow’d and scatter’d,
    By mingling them with us, the honour’d number. William Shakespeare.

    I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them, and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord. Ex. xiv.


  1. Honour

    Honor or honour is an abstract concept entailing a perceived quality of worthiness and respectability that affects both the social standing and the self-evaluation of an individual or corporate body such as a family, school, regiment or nation. Accordingly, individuals are assigned worth and stature based on the harmony of their actions with a specific code of honour, and the moral code of the society at large. Honour can be viewed in the light of Psychological nativism as being as real to the human condition as love, and likewise deriving from the formative personal bonds that establish one's personal dignity and character. From the point of moral relativism, honour is perceived as arising from universal concerns for material circumstance and status, rather than fundamental differences in principle between those who hold different honour codes. Dr Samuel Johnson, in his A Dictionary of the English Language, defined honour as having several senses, the first of which was "nobility of soul, magnanimity, and a scorn of meanness." This sort of honour derives from the perceived virtuous conduct and personal integrity of the person endowed with it. On the other hand, Johnson also defined honour in relationship to "reputation" and "fame"; to "privileges of rank or birth", and as "respect" of the kind which "places an individual socially and determines his right to precedence." This sort of honour is not so much a function of moral or ethical excellence, as it is a consequence of power. Finally, with respect to women, honour has traditionally been associated with "chastity" or "virginity", or in case of a married woman, "fidelity". Some have argued that honour should be seen more as a rhetoric, or set of possible actions, than as a code.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Honour

    on′or, n. the esteem due or paid to worth: respect: high estimation: veneration, said of God: that which rightfully attracts esteem: exalted rank: distinction: excellence of character: nobleness of mind: any special virtue much esteemed: any mark of esteem: a title of respect: (pl.) privileges of rank or birth: civilities paid: at whist, one of the four highest trump cards (if one pair of partners hold four honours they score four points; if three, two points; if only two, none—'Honours easy'): (golf) the right to play first from the tee: academic prizes or distinctions.—v.t. to hold in high esteem: to respect: to adore: to exalt: to accept and pay when due.—adj. Hon′ourable, worthy of honour: illustrious: actuated by principles of honour: conferring honour: becoming men of exalted station: a title of distinction.—n. Hon′ourableness, eminence: conformity to the principles of honour: fairness.—adv. Hon′ourably.—adjs. Hon′oured; Hon′ourless.—n. Hon′our-point (her.), the point just above the fesse-point.—Honour bright! a kind of interjectional minor oath or appeal to honour; Honours of war, the privileges granted to a capitulating force to march out with their arms, flags, &c.—Affair of honour, a duel; Debt of honour (see Debt); Last honours, funeral rites: obsequies; Laws of honour, the conventional rules of honourable conduct, esp. in the causes and conduct of duels; Maid of honour, a lady in the service of a queen or princess; Point of honour, any scruple caused by a sense of duty: the obligation to demand and to receive satisfaction for an insult, esp. in the duel; Upon my honour, an appeal to one's honour or reputation in support of a certain statement; Word of honour, a verbal promise which cannot be broken without disgrace. [Fr.,—L. honor.]

Editors Contribution

  1. honour

    To award a person justly for their contribution, commitment, service or public service to their community, locality, region, country or the world.

    It brings to your heart to see a person who has contributed to their local community out of love and passion for their fellow beings receiving an honour.

    Submitted by MaryC on August 2, 2016  

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'honour' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4086

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'honour' in Nouns Frequency: #1221

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'honour' in Verbs Frequency: #1025

How to pronounce honour?

How to say honour in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of honour in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of honour in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of honour in a Sentence

  1. Martin Cheek:

    We very much appreciated the support Leo gave us in campaigning to protect Ebo last year so it seemed fitting to honour him in this way, naming a species unique only to Ebo Forest, after him, had the logging concession gone ahead, we would have likely lost this species to timber extraction and slash and burn agriculture that usually follows logging concessions.

  2. Lord Alfred Tennyson:

    His honour rooted in dishonour stood, And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true.

  3. Socrates:

    The shortest and surest way to live with honour in the world, is to be in reality what we would appear to be; and if we observe, we shall find, that all human virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice of them.

  4. Simon Cowell:

    I'd accept an honour but I don't think I'm likely to get one. The Queen once described me as a dreadful man

  5. Theresa May:

    It is clear that the House does not support this deal, but tonight's vote tells us nothing about what it does support, ... nothing about how - or even if - it intends to honour the decision the British people took in a referendum parliament decided to hold.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for honour

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    any of a class of organic compounds containing the cyano radical -CN
    • A. snap
    • B. pluck
    • C. nitrile
    • D. leaven

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