1. given for honor only, without the usual requirements, duties, privileges, emoluments, etc.: The university presented the new governor with an honorary degree.
  2. holding a title or position conferred for honor only: an honorary president.
  3. (of an obligation) depending on one's honor for fulfillment.
  4. conferring or commemorating honor or distinction.
  5. given, made, or serving as a token of honor: an honorary gift.

Origin of honorary

First recorded in 1605–15, honorary is from the Latin word honōrārius relating to honor. See honor, -ary
Related formshon·or·ar·i·ly [on-uh-rair-uh-lee] /ˌɒn əˈrɛər ə li/, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for honorarily


adjective (usually prenominal)
    1. (esp of a position, title, etc) held or given only as an honour, without the normal privileges or dutiesan honorary degree
    2. (of a secretary, treasurer, etc) unpaid
  1. having such a position or title
  2. depending on honour rather than legal agreement
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 honorarily



early 17c., from honor + -ary; possibly influenced by French honoraire, Latin honorarius "pertaining to honor, honorary."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper