[ on-uh-rair-ee-uhm ]
/ ˌɒn əˈrɛər i əm /

noun, plural hon·o·rar·i·ums, hon·o·rar·i·a [on-uh-rair-ee-uh]. /ˌɒn əˈrɛər i ə/.

a payment in recognition of acts or professional services for which custom or propriety forbids a price to be set: The mayor was given a modest honorarium for delivering a speech to our club.
a fee for services rendered by a professional person.



Are you learning Spanish? Or do you just have an interest in foreign languages? Either way, this quiz on Spanish words for animals is for you.
Question 1 of 13
How do you say “cat” 🐈 in Spanish?

Origin of honorarium

1650–60; <Latin honōrārium fee paid on taking office, noun use of neuter of honōrāriushonorary
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does honorarium mean?

An honorarium is a payment for special, professional services that don’t technically require compensation or for which payment isn’t customarily given.

An honorarium is usually given as an appreciative gesture for services outside of one’s normal job—it’s not a salary.

More generally, it can refer to a one-time fee paid to a professional for their services.

The correct plural of honorarium can be either honorariums or honoraria. Technically speaking, honoraria is the Latin-based plural form of honorarium. (Many other Latin-derived words can be pluralized in the same way, but many are rarely used, such as stadia as the plural for stadium.)

Example: I was paid a modest honorarium for the summer poetry workshop that I led.

Where does honorarium come from?

The first records of honorarium come from the 1600s. The word comes from the Latin honōrārium, meaning “fee paid on taking office.” In Latin, honōrārium is the noun form of the adjective honōrārius, meaning “honorary.”

Should you ever be invited to be a speaker at a conference, you might receive an honorarium. It’s kind of like a gift for your time and expertise. Such payments are sometimes referred to as ex gratia—meaning they’re given as a gift rather than as a formal, required payment. An honorarium isn’t a freelance payment or a salary (though it is usually considered taxable income). An honorarium is also different than a stipend (a periodic payment) or a per diem (a daily allowance to cover expenses), though it could be used to cover the expenses of traveling to speak at a conference, for example. (Our advice? When you do work or offer your expertise, require payment, regardless of what the payment is called.)

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to honorarium?

  • honorariums (plural)
  • honoraria (plural)

What are some words that share a root or word element with honorarium

What are some words that often get used in discussing honorarium?

How is honorarium used in real life?

Honorariums are frequently given in the sectors of academia, government, religious institutions, and nonprofits.



Try using honorarium!

Which of the following words is LEAST likely to be used in reference to an honorarium?

A. gift
B. compensation
C. salary
D. fee

Example sentences from the Web for honorarium

British Dictionary definitions for honorarium

/ (ˌɒnəˈrɛərɪəm) /

noun plural -iums or -ia (-ɪə)

a fee paid for a nominally free service

Word Origin for honorarium

C17: from Latin: something presented on being admitted to a post of honour
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