[ih-mer-i-tuh s]


retired or honorably discharged from active professional duty, but retaining the title of one's office or position: dean emeritus of the graduate school; editor in chief emeritus.

noun, plural e·mer·i·ti [ih-mer-i-tahy, -tee] /ɪˈmɛr ɪˌtaɪ, -ˌti/.

an emeritus professor, minister, etc.

Origin of emeritus

1785–95; < Latin ēmeritus having fully earned (past participle of ēmerēre), equivalent to ē- e-1 + meri- earn + -tus past participle suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for emeritus

Contemporary Examples of emeritus

  • SENATOR GEORGE J. MITCHELLCHAIRMAN EMERITUS, DLA PIPER Senator George Mitchell has had a long and distinguished career.

  • Her son took the Astor seat in 1986, and subsequently became an emeritus trustee as well.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Behind the Brooke Astor Affair

    Michael Gross

    November 17, 2008

Historical Examples of emeritus

British Dictionary definitions for emeritus



(usually postpositive) retired or honourably discharged from full-time work, but retaining one's title on an honorary basisa professor emeritus

Word Origin for emeritus

C19: from Latin, from merēre to deserve; see merit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for emeritus

c.1600, from Latin emeritus "veteran soldier who has served his time," literally "that has finished work, past service," past participle of emerere "serve out, complete one's service," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + merere "to serve, earn," from PIE *(s)mer- "to get a share of something" (see merit (n.)). First used of retired professors 1794 in American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper