[ ih-mer-i-tuh s ]
/ ɪˈmɛr ɪ təs /


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.

Nearby words

  1. emergent norm,
  2. emergicenter,
  3. emerging,
  4. emerging market,
  5. emerita,
  6. emerize,
  7. emersed,
  8. emersion,
  9. emerson,
  10. emerson, ralph waldo

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

British Dictionary definitions for emeritus


/ (ɪˈmɛrɪtəs) /


(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