See more synonyms for honorary on Thesaurus.com
  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

Related Words for honorary

titular, congratulatory, celebratory

Examples from the Web for honorary

Contemporary Examples of honorary

Historical Examples of honorary

British Dictionary definitions for honorary


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 honorary

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper