Definition of honour noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    (especially US English honor) noun
    BrE BrE//ˈɒnə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɑːnər//
    Use an, not a, before honour. Happiness, Exams and degrees, Moral, Study routes
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  1. 1  [uncountable] great respect and admiration for somebody the guest of honour (= the most important one) the seat/place of honour (= given to the most important guest) They stood in silence as a mark of honour to her. see also maid of honour, matron of honour
  2. privilege
  3. 2  [singular] something that you are very pleased or proud to do because people are showing you great respect synonym privilege It was a great honour to be invited here today. See related entries: Happiness
  4. moral behaviour
  5. 3  [uncountable] the quality of knowing and doing what is morally right a man of honour Proving his innocence has become a matter of honour. See related entries: Moral
  6. reputation
  7. 4  [uncountable] a good reputation; respect from other people upholding the honour of your country The family honour is at stake. compare dishonour
  8. 5[singular] honour to something/somebody a person or thing that causes others to respect and admire something/somebody She is an honour to the profession.
  9. award
  10. 6  [countable] an award, official title, etc. given to somebody as a reward for something that they have done the New Year’s Honours list (= in Britain, a list of awards and titles given on January 1 each year) to win the highest honour He was buried with full military honours(= with a special military service as a sign of respect). see also roll of honour CulturehonoursTwice a year several hundred British people who have distinguished themselves in some way receive a variety of honours. A few are given life peerages, some are made knights, and many others are given lesser awards. The honours lists are published on New Year's Day (the New Year Honours) and in mid June on the present Queen's official birthday (the Birthday Honours). At the end of each parliament before a general election, the Prime Minister recommends a list of politicians for the Dissolution Honours.For a long time honours were given almost automatically to senior members of the armed forces and the Civil Service, and to those who had contributed to party political funds. In 1993 John Major announced a reduction in the number of such honours and said that more awards were to be given to members of the public suggested for honours by colleagues and friends, or by people who admired their achievements. The Ceremonial Secretariat receives suggestions and draws up a final list which is approved by the prime minister. As well as the names of politicians and business people, it contains charity workers, well-known sports and television personalities, actors, musicians, etc., and many ordinary people. Honours are awarded by the king or queen, or another member of the Royal Family, in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.Many of the honours are associated with one of several orders of chivalry (= groups of distinguished people). Some of the orders have different grades of membership, e.g. 'knight', 'commander', 'officer' and 'member'. Many people are given awards in the Order of the British Empire. Famous people may be given a CBE (commander rank) or OBE (officer rank); people recommended by members of the public are usually given an MBE (member rank). Some people think the Order of the British Empire should be renamed to get rid of the reference to the Empire that is no longer appropriate, but in 2004 it was decided that the name should not be changed. Most honours allow a person to put the relevant letters after their name. In addition to these honours there are many medals and decorations (= awards) for bravery, for civilians (= members of the public) as well as for members of the police and the armed forces.In the US there is no system of honours like that in Britain, though a number of medals are awarded for outstanding achievement or for bravery. These include the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.
  11. at university/school
  12. 7honours, honors [plural] (abbreviation Hons) (often used as an adjective) a university course that is of a higher level than a basic course (in the US also used to describe a class in school which is at a higher level than other classes) an honours degree/course a First Class Honours degree (North American English) I took an honors class in English. See related entries: Exams and degrees, Study routes
  13. 8honours, honors [plural] if you pass an exam or graduate from a university or school with honours, you receive a special mark/grade for having achieved a very high standard See related entries: Exams and degrees, Study routes
  14. judge/mayor
  15. 9 His/Her/Your Honour [countable] a title of respect used when talking to or about a judge or a US mayor No more questions, Your Honour.
  16. in card games
  17. 10[countable, usually plural] the cards that have the highest value More Like This Silent letters gnarled, gnash, gnat, gnaw, gnome haute cuisine, heir, (NAmE herb), honour, hors d’oeuvre, hour knack, knee, kneel, knife, knight, knit, knob, knock, knot, know, knuckle psalm, psephology, psychic, ptarmigan, pterodactyl, psychology wrangle, wrap, wreath, wreck, wrench, wrestle, wriggle, wring, write, wrong bomb, climb, crumb, doubt, lamb, limb ascent, fascinate, muscle, scene, scissors height, right, sleigh, weight align, campaign, design, foreign, malign, reign, unfeigned balmy, calm, calf, half, yolk autumn, column, condemn, damn, hymn, solemn bristle, fasten, listen, mortgage, soften, thistle, wrestle biscuit, build, circuit, disguise, guilty, league, rogue, vague yacht answer, sword, twoSee worksheet.
  18. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French onor (noun), onorer (verb), from Latin honos, honor. Synonymspleasuredelight joy privilege treat honourThese are all words for things that make you happy or bring you enjoyment.pleasure a thing that brings you enjoyment or satisfaction:the pleasures and pains of everyday life It’s been a pleasure meeting you.delight a thing or person that brings you great enjoyment or satisfaction:the delights of living in the countryjoy a thing or person that brings you great enjoyment or happiness:the joys and sorrows of childhoodpleasure, delight or joy?A delight or joy is greater than a pleasure; a person, especially a child, can be a delight or joy, but not a pleasure; joys are often contrasted with sorrows, but delights are not.privilege (rather formal) something that you are proud and lucky to have the opportunity to do:It was a great privilege to hear her sing.treat (informal) a thing that somebody enjoyed or is likely to enjoy very much:You’ve never been to this area before? Then you’re in for a real treat.honour/​honor (formal) something that you are very pleased or proud to do because people are showing you great respect:It was a great honour to be invited here today.Patterns the pleasures/​delights/​joys of something It’s a great pleasure/​joy to me that… It’s a pleasure/​delight/​joy/​privilege/​treat/​honour to do something It’s a pleasure/​delight/​joy to see/​find… a pleasure/​delight/​joy to behold/​watch a real pleasure/​delight/​joy/​privilege/​treat a great pleasure/​joy/​privilege/​honour a rare joy/​privilege/​treat/​honourExtra examples Eastlake Studio received top honours in the interior design category. He felt honour bound to help her. He passed with second-class honours. He saw his injuries as a badge of honour. He shared the honour of being the season’s top scorer with Andy Cole. He was buried with full military honours. He was made a life peer in the New Year’s honours list. He was now satisfied that the family honour had been restored. He’s in the third year of his honours course. I give you my word of honour I will not forget what I owe you. I had the rare honour of being allowed into the artist’s studio. I swear on my honour= very seriously that I knew nothing about this. In the return match the home team won 3–0 and honour was satisfied. It is a matter of honour to keep our standards as high as possible. It was the British who scooped the honours at last night’s Oscars. Knights in the Middle Ages had a strong code of honour. Max was given the dubious honour of organizing the children’s party. National honour is at stake in this game. National honour is at stake in this match between France and England. She brought honour to her country as an Olympic medal-winner. She felt she had to defend the honour of her profession. She has confirmed that she will accept the honour of a peerage. The Order of Merit is the highest civilian honour that can be conferred on someone. The coffin was accompanied by a guard of honour. The crowd cheered while the athletes ran their lap of honour. The president was guest of honour at the society’s banquet. The prime minister sought an agreement that would bring peace with honour. The school’s roll of honour lists everyone killed in the war. They organized a party in his honour. They stood in silence as a mark of honour to the drowned sailors. This biography does great honour to the poet’s achievements. Will you do me the honour of dining with me? a man without honour honour code violations joint honours in mathematics and statistics television’s highest honour the stars who took top honours at the MTV Awards He would always fight to defend the family honour. Many schoolchildren have a very strong code of honour. Proving his innocence was a matter of honour. The arch was built in honour of the Emperor.Idioms
    do somebody an honour, do somebody the honour (of doing something)
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    (formal) to do something to make somebody feel very proud and pleased Would you do me the honour of dining with me?
    to perform a social duty or ceremony, such as pouring drinks, making a speech, etc. Would you do the honours and draw the winning ticket?
    have the honour of something/of doing something
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    (formal) to be given the opportunity to do something that makes you feel proud and happy May I have the honour of the next dance? It was Tevez who had the honour of scoring the first goal.
    (there is) honour among thieves
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    (saying) used to say that even criminals have standards of behaviour that they respect
    (feel) honour-bound to do something
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    (formal) to feel that you must do something because of your sense of moral duty She felt honour-bound to attend as she had promised to. compare duty-bound
    no particular person, team, etc. is doing better than the others in a competition, an argument, etc.
    in honour of somebody/something, in somebody’s/something’s honour
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    in order to show respect and admiration for somebody/something a ceremony in honour of those killed in the explosion A banquet was held in her honour.
      on your honour (old-fashioned)
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    1. 1used to promise very seriously that you will do something or that something is true I swear on my honour that I knew nothing about this.
    2. 2to be trusted to do something You're on your honour not to go into my room.
    a thing that somebody considers to be very important for their honour or reputation