Meaning of honour in English:


Pronunciation /ˈɒnə/

See synonyms for honour


(US honor)
  • 1mass noun High respect; great esteem.

    ‘his portrait hangs in the place of honour’
    • ‘The women emphasized the importance of reclaiming tradition and returning honour and respect to women for the roles they perform in their families and communities.’
    • ‘They were given oats, meal, turnips, in honour and respect for the way in which they cared for and kept Jesus warm on the night of his birth, with their breath, in the cold stable.’
    • ‘It is the duty of all families to teach honour and respect for women to their sons.’
    • ‘These images reflected an ideology that held older men in high esteem and assumed respect and honour to increase as individuals aged.’
    • ‘They were descended from a family which had once enjoyed respect and honour.’
    • ‘They are normally treated with special honour and respect.’
    • ‘Most remarkable is the desire for honour or respect.’
    • ‘Defeat, when it came was with honour - and the respect of the visitors.’
    • ‘He earned the general respect and honour of his contemporaries.’
    • ‘Pakistan, too, was not short of players in the past who commanded respect and honour.’
    • ‘The veiling of women by scarf or hood, and their seclusion, became a mark of honour and social status in cities of the Middle East and Mediterranean world in the centuries before the Common Era.’
    • ‘He carried with him the love, respect and honour of his people.’
    • ‘This bill gives due honour and respect to Deaf people, and their unique language and culture.’
    • ‘And people joked about it, used to add up how many cuts of the cane they got as a mark of honour and so on, but I was scared.’
    • ‘Frequently a beast would be slaughtered for the first meal to demonstrate the host's wealth, social standing, and to uphold tribal honour.’
    • ‘She talks at length about the ways in which women achieve honour and respect, and the ways in which the chivalric code can be applied to everyday life.’
    • ‘The custom of presenting fine garments as special marks of honour and friendship evoked suspicion about the true motives of the giver and the purity of the gift itself.’
    • ‘Now it is up to the boys' teams to uphold the school's honour.’
    • ‘If the honor of our nation matters to you, vote to get this president and his administration out of power.’
    • ‘Many staff see it as matter of a honour to be at their desks longer than their colleagues and send e-mails in the wee small hours to prove it.’
    distinction, privilege, glory, tribute, kudos, cachet, prestige, fame, renown, merit, credit, importance, illustriousness, notability
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1in singular A person or thing that brings esteem.
      ‘you are an honour to our profession’
      • ‘The book, as Mickie points out, is an honour to the memory of Harin Da.’
      • ‘You are an honor to your husband and your country and yourself.’
      • ‘He is the epitome of an American hero, he is an honor to our nation.’
      • ‘She is an honour to her family, friends, team-mates and the nation.’
    2. 1.2His, Your, etc. HonourA title of respect or form of address given to a circuit judge, a US mayor, and (in Irish or rustic speech) any person of rank.
      ‘Judge Brodrick's father, His Honour, Judge Norman Brodrick, QC, was Recorder of Portsmouth.’
      • ‘The Appellant was tried by His Honour Judge Cavell and a jury between 15th and 26th November 1999.’
      • ‘Of course not, Your Honour, nothing could be further from the truth.’
      • ‘In passing sentence, His Honour Judge Knopf said that the money which should have gone to the Inland Revenue would have been used for the advantage and benefit of society as a whole.’
      • ‘Speaking after the judgement by His Honour Judge Mahon, Miss Kirby said she was ‘very, very happy’.’
      • ‘I cannot leave this case without respectfully commending the handling of this case by Her Honour Judge Mowat and the judgment she gave.’
      • ‘He answered, ‘Not to my knowledge, Your Honour.’’
      • ‘That's correct, Your Honour.’
      • ‘Could the witness please be shown exhibit P1, Your Honour?’
      • ‘I should also mention an exchange in which counsel representing another defendant asked the Judge, ‘Is Your Honour going to set a date for a preparatory hearing in the New Year?’’
      • ‘He is presently serving a total sentence of twelve years imprisonment imposed by His Honour Judge Griggs on 2nd June 1999 when sitting in the Exeter Crown Court.’
      • ‘At the trial before His Honour Judge Pitchers the prosecution relied on expert evidence in relation to other documents alleged to have been written by the appellant for comparison purposes.’
      • ‘After a contested hearing His Honour Judge Bartfield made an order for possession on 7 June 2001, and on the same day granted permission to appeal to this court.’
      • ‘On 29th March 2000 in the Crown Court at Norwich before His Honour Judge Barham, the applicant was convicted of six counts of indecent assault.’
      • ‘We were able to retrieve a copy of the decision of a Tribunal chaired by His Honour Judge Lakin, sitting with two lay members and promulgated on 26 June 2000.’
      • ‘Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: His Honour the learned judge, told you at the beginning of the trial that it was your role to decide the factual issues in this case.’
      • ‘Consequently, His Honour Judge Tetlow was correct, in my judgment, that what he had to assess was the chance of the respondent succeeding on his counterclaim.’
      • ‘They came before His Honour Judge Barr in late 1988.’
      • ‘On behalf of the defendant, Mr Lewis first submits that the issue before me under section 14 is not identical to that determined by His Honour Judge Rivlin.’
      • ‘On 27th August 1999, he appeared before the Crown Court and was sentenced to life imprisonment by His Honour Judge Radford.’
  • 2The quality of knowing and doing what is morally right.

    ‘I must as a matter of honour avoid any taint of dishonesty’
    • ‘Chivalry is defined as a combination of qualities including courage, honour, courtesy and a readiness to help the weak.’
    • ‘It is a depressing thought that any nation of free people would sell its honour so cheaply.’
    • ‘As a future parent, I hope to raise a son who will understand and exhibit the qualities of faith, honor, and integrity.’
    • ‘Like many regular Americans, I value character traits and believe that courage and honor make a person superior.’
    • ‘Policemen and policewomen of honour deserve the highest respect and gratitude from the general public.’
    • ‘Appeals to honour are appeals to a shared morality.’
    • ‘He is very wrapped up in his sense of honor. He doesn't lie.’
    • ‘There's much that needs doing if we are to restore some sense of honor to government.’
    • ‘Whether you agree or disagree with his position, the one thing that cannot be denied is that he is a man of honor and a statesman in every sense of the word.’
    integrity, honourableness, honesty, uprightness, ethics, morals, morality, principle, principles, high principles, righteousness, rectitude, nobility, high-mindedness, right-mindedness, noble-mindedness
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 dated A woman's chastity or her reputation for being chaste.
      ‘she died defending her honour’
      • ‘Few have heard of Col. Ralston but he was a fearless defender of western Christian values and the honor of chaste young women.’
      • ‘A tremendous amount of energy is spent to either preserve the honor of a maiden, or to take it from her.’
      • ‘Several Dutch historians have pointed out that when it concerned reputation, women were anxious to preserve their sexual honour.’
      • ‘Dating conflicts with strict cultural norms about female chastity and its relationship to the honor of the woman and her family.’
      chastity, virginity, virtue, maidenhood, maidenhead, purity, innocence, modesty
      View synonyms
  • 3Something regarded as a rare opportunity and bringing pride and pleasure; a privilege.

    ‘Mrs Young had the honour of being received by the Queen’
    • ‘Last, but not least, I deem it an honour and a rare privilege to write about her.’
    • ‘Serving with a parliamentarian of Richard Prebble's calibre has been a rare honour and privilege.’
    • ‘This opportunity is an honor and a privilege and I think it is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.’
    • ‘‘It has been a great honour and privilege for me to play for Manchester United for over 12 years,’ said Keane.’
    • ‘It would be an honour and a privilege to meet him.’
    • ‘It was an honour to watch a legend bring alive the genre of the blues.’
    • ‘It is especially an honour to be the first woman to hold the position of President.’
    • ‘Day said: ‘It's an honour to play here and if you can score a try it's even better.’’
    • ‘You could not walk down the street without residents saying it was an honour to meet me.’
    • ‘It is was an honour to be selected by the party as their candidate and to be elected to the council.’
    • ‘It's an honour to be associated with the Transatlantic Challenge featuring 24 of the best players in the world.’
    • ‘Working on the symphony has been extremely exciting for the orchestra and it will be an honour to perform the premiere.’
    • ‘‘It's quite an honour to be asked to come back for a third time,’ says the choreographer as he scribbles notes mid-rehearsal.’
    • ‘‘I'd be so proud if I won; it would be such an honour to represent my country as Miss Universe,’ she said.’
    • ‘He said it was always an honour to represent one's county and he also complimented the coaches and mentors of the teams for their committed work on behalf of the club.’
    • ‘John said it was ‘an honour to be part of a piece of history.’’
    • ‘And I thought it would be an honour to represent the school.’
    • ‘It was also an honour to meet the Lord Lieutenant.’
    • ‘It is an honour to be able to portray such legends on the screen.’
    • ‘So, well, cor blimey, what an honour to have one's work showcased by the BBC.’
    • ‘The national mycologist once described a new fungus that occurs on melon, so she had the honor of naming it.’
    • ‘He had the honour of being the first living artist to have his work exhibited in the Louvre.’
    • ‘It has been a distinct privilege to have the honor of working with them.’
    • ‘I never had the honor of meeting him, but his reputation preceded him.’
    privilege, pleasure, pride, satisfaction, joy, compliment, favour, source of pleasure, source of pride
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1A thing conferred as a distinction, especially an official award for bravery or achievement.
      ‘the highest military honours’
      • ‘His knighthood is the latest of dozens of awards and honours conferred on him.’
      • ‘The key to preparing successful nominations for honours, awards and decorations is to read and follow the guidelines provided.’
      • ‘The Geological Society of London awarded him its highest honour, the Wollaston Medal, for his pioneering work in marine geology and sedimentology.’
      • ‘He was awarded many honours and prizes for his work, including membership of the United States Academy of Sciences.’
      • ‘In 1964 the Japanese Government awarded him the honor of the Order of the Rising Sun.’
      • ‘And despite his numerous awards, trophies and honors, one still eludes him: a coveted spot on the U.S. Olympic swim team.’
      • ‘He collected a swathe of international honours, awards and prizes along the way, not least the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology.’
      • ‘He achieved numerous other honours and distinctions, including postgraduate prizes and fellowships, and he was invited to lecture around the world.’
      • ‘The award of honours for conspicuous gallantry came rather late, with the Victoria Cross during the Crimean War.’
      • ‘The national honours are conferred on Nigerians and foreigners who have distinguished themselves in their chosen careers and service to the country.’
      • ‘BBC World Service has been awarded a special honour at the Sony Radio Awards.’
      • ‘The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor afforded to members by the American Camping Association.’
      • ‘Later this year, on 23 July, the City of Johannesburg will confer its highest honour on Mandela by handing him the freedom of the city.’
      • ‘With expertise in anthropology and Aboriginal arts, Chen's specialties and dedication in these fields have gained him numerous honors and awards.’
      • ‘He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, of which the Siemens prize is the latest addition.’
      • ‘Fuller was awarded many honours, including a fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects.’
      • ‘After his death, however, at the age of almost 90, de Lesseps was awarded many great honours.’
      • ‘Heroes who have won the highest honours for their bravery now have a permanent memorial at Westminster Abbey.’
      • ‘Starting with a national film award for his maiden venture, Barua has been a recipient of several honours at various international film festivals.’
      • ‘From 1967 to 1974 she concentrated on writing, but after her return to painting she achieved a high reputation, winning several honours.’
      • ‘I've never even thought about getting an honour from the Queen.’
      • ‘Nora is delighted to have been included in the Queen's New Year honours.’
      accolade, award, reward, prize, decoration, distinction, order, title, medal, ribbon, star, laurel, laurel wreath, bay, palm
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2honoursA special distinction for proficiency in an examination.
      ‘she passed with honours’
      • ‘She overcame his resistance, qualified with honours, and set up practice in London.’
      • ‘After playing the electronic keyboard for several years, he took his grade 5 exam and passed with honours.’
      • ‘Out of 60 exams taken, 33 passed with Honours and the remaining 27 with Highly Commended.’
    3. 3.3honoursA course of degree studies more specialized than for an ordinary pass.
      as modifier ‘an honours degree in mathematics’
      • ‘He is hoping to continue his studies and gain an honours degree in natural sciences.’
      • ‘After two years she quit in favour of a sound engineering course in Glasgow, followed by an honours degree course in world religions.’
      • ‘Unlike traditional honours degrees, the courses are designed in conjunction with employers to meet skills shortages.’
      • ‘She trained as a painter at Brighton University in England, qualifying with an honours degree in Fine Art.’
      • ‘When I was younger I took such an interest in politics my studies included a degree in political theory and an honours degree in the history of political thought.’
      • ‘He graduated last year with an Aeronautical Engineering degree with first class honours after four years study.’
      • ‘He received a first class honours degree in accountancy and business studies.’
      • ‘I have a Business Studies A-level and I am currently studying for a Business Studies honours degree with the Open University.’
      • ‘But while there were 13 firsts among men in computing and IT, only five women got a first-class honours degree in the area in 2000.’
      • ‘He has a first-class honours degree in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford.’
      • ‘He was educated at Abersychan County School and Balliol College, Oxford, coming out with a first-class honours degree in philosophy, politics and economics.’
      • ‘I'm nearly 26, I have a first class honours degree, I'm fluent in a foreign language, and I can't even get a job that pays peanuts in a provincial theatre.’
      • ‘Ian started his career in 1969 when he graduated with a first class honours degree in mechanical engineering from Loughborough University.’
      • ‘A student from Norden has taken a giant stride towards achieving her dream of working in fashion and photography by gaining a first class honours degree at university.’
      • ‘Mr Looney is a graduate of the College of Marketing and Design and holds an honours bachelor of science degree in management from Trinity College Dublin.’
      • ‘She studied art at Edinburgh College of Art, graduating with a first class honours degree in printmaking and printed textiles.’
      • ‘Jamieson has an honours degree in fine art from Glasgow School of Art, and post-graduate qualifications in art therapy, social work and management.’
      • ‘She has an honours degree in psychology (always helpful in dealing with the media) and has allegedly written two books.’
      • ‘Born in Aberdeen in 1942, Sir Ian Wood graduated from Aberdeen University in 1964 with an honours degree in psychology.’
      • ‘I went to Glasgow Caledonian University and got an honours degree in business and joined the company three and a half years ago on the graduate trainee scheme.’
    4. 3.4Golf The right of driving off first, having won the previous hole.
      ‘Kyle had the honour at the last hole’
      • ‘Much has been made of the way Woods played the 72nd hole in Dubai, ending up with a double bogey seven, but all credit to Bjorn who birdied the previous hole to win the honour and then sent a cracking drive down the last.’
      • ‘For example, if he has the honor and hits his tee shot into the woods, you may want to forget about hitting your driver and choose a 3-wood or long iron instead, just to keep the ball in play.’
  • 4Bridge
    An ace, king, queen, jack, or ten.

    ‘There are five honours, viz: - Ace, King, Queen, Knave and Ten, if trumps are declared.’
    • ‘As there is no skill in scoring for honours, players often agree to play without the honour bonuses.’
    • ‘A side which held three of the four honours can claim 2 points for them.’
    • ‘Scores for honours are to be claimed at the end of the play (it is assumed that the players will remember what they held).’
    1. 4.1honoursPossession in one's hand of at least four of the ace, king, queen, jack, and ten of trumps, or of all four aces in no trumps, for which a bonus is scored.
    2. 4.2(in whist) an ace, king, queen, or jack of trumps.
      ‘A partnership which between them held all four honours in their hands score an extra 4 points, which they claim at the end of the play.’
      • ‘Points are also scored for honors, which are the Ace, King, Queen, and Jack of trumps.’


(US honor)
[with object]
  • 1Regard with great respect.

    ‘they honoured their parents in all they did’
    • ‘His son John Scott Junior was among honoured guests invited for the occasion.’
    • ‘Another honoured guest was the Consulate General of Japan for Cultural Affairs, who also attended the ceremonies.’
    • ‘Thus we should be honoured guests when we enter these establishments.’
    • ‘Her husband, Tommy, and members of their family were honoured guests at the launch.’
    • ‘Torn between honouring his father's memory and staying true to himself, Murdock drifts through law school, and into an uneasy adulthood.’
    • ‘Mayo man Admiral William Brown, who left Foxford aged nine when his family emigrated, is honoured as the Father of the Argentine Navy.’
    • ‘Our children no longer have to honour their father and their mother.’
    • ‘India honors him as the Father of the Nation and his birth anniversary is a national holiday.’
    • ‘The evening's festivities were warm and jovial as city administrators and honored guests wished him the best of luck with his new job.’
    • ‘At that time, father and grandfather were respected and honored artisans and artists.’
    • ‘The commandments which prohibit worshipping other gods and require that one honor one's father and mother, aren't reflected in our U.S. laws, at all.’
    • ‘Baptist spirituality takes to heart the divine command to honor father and mother, and to reverence gray hairs.’
    • ‘There is no law that says you have to honor your mother and father.’
    • ‘There is a command to honor your father and mother because there are days when this is the least natural thing in the world to do.’
    • ‘By this he means that living writers are not honoured here the way they are in America.’
    • ‘At the time, however, Alessandro Manzoni was Italy's most honoured writer.’
    • ‘Virginia Hamilton is America's most honored writer of children's literature.’
    • ‘The Globe Theater was the home to one of the most honored writers of the time, William Shakespeare.’
    • ‘Ballots are sent to ski writers and past honored members who vote on who they think should be in the hall.’
    • ‘Women are honoured, accepted, and sanctified, whether single or married, mothers, or without children.’
    • ‘And do you promise to love, respect, honour, and cherish this man for as long as you both shall live?’
    hold in great respect, hold in high esteem, have a high regard for, esteem, respect, admire, defer to, look up to, think highly of
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Pay public respect to.
      ‘talented writers were honoured at a special ceremony’
      • ‘Tens of thousands of people turned out on Saturday for public events to honour the sacrifices of the war veterans and fallen soldiers.’
      • ‘Children who attend public schools honor the national flag and sing the national anthem every Monday morning.’
      • ‘As students sporting mortarboards and clutching scrolls are awarded their degrees in July, the university takes the opportunity to honour public figures for their achievements.’
      • ‘During the event the town comes alive with literary talent and people throughout Ireland and beyond gather to honour the great writers of the past and to greet new and emerging talent.’
      • ‘It is a wonderful celebration honoring the accomplishments of outstanding nurses.’
      • ‘Priests have appealed to all parishioners to attend the celebration to honour a lady who is a highly respected and popular member of the community.’
      • ‘Three children who have helped look after their wheelchair-bound mum have been honoured with a prestigious school prize in recognition of their hard work.’
      • ‘Local village life is marked by celebrations honoring the saints and the Virgin Mary.’
      • ‘The court also welcomed a group of distinguished guests who were each honored with certificates and tokens of appreciation for their contributions and support in completing the new room.’
      • ‘And every year, June 16 is observed the world over as Father's Day - a day meant for not only honouring one's father but also all those men who act as a father figure.’
      • ‘A boy is to be honoured for saving his father's life after he collapsed at home.’
      • ‘Dr Braithwaite is now keen to establish a tourism project in Sandakan in memory of his father, and to honour the memory of the many who perished.’
      • ‘It was built by Annie Townend to honour her father, George Henry Moore, the largest land owner in the area.’
      • ‘On Father's Day the traditional way to honour your father is to wear a red rose if he is living or wear a white rose if he has passed away.’
      • ‘Members of the local media and honored guests paid tribute to the local police chief in a farewell party last Friday, October 1.’
      • ‘Sheep are killed for feasts or to honor a special guest.’
      • ‘A tiger hunt was something Indian kings organised to honour their imperial guests, a colonial equivalent of a banquet.’
      • ‘They often honor their guests by serving them a cooked sheep's head.’
      • ‘The Mayor of New York City has been invited to honour one of America's best known Civil War heroes in his native town of Ballymote.’
      • ‘On May 20th, 2001, hundreds of people came from all over to honor my father.’
      • ‘I always feel privileged to honor someone in this manner, and I look forward to doing so again next year.’
      • ‘Tonight, we honor the commitment and sacrifice of all the men and women who have served this country.’
      applaud, acclaim, praise, salute, recognize, celebrate, commemorate, commend, glorify, hail, lionize, exalt, fete, eulogize, give credit to, pay homage to, pay tribute to, show appreciation of, give accolades to, sing the praises of, sing paeans to
      View synonyms
  • 2Fulfil (an obligation) or keep (an agreement)

    ‘make sure the franchisees honour the terms of the contract’
    • ‘This Parliament should have honoured those agreements; it should have honoured its obligations.’
    • ‘If she died before the settlement was rubber-stamped, the State would have had no legal obligation to honour the agreement.’
    • ‘They weren't happy about the payments but they never the less honoured their obligation to tour here.’
    • ‘Mr Hunt added that wind farms were necessary if Britain was to honour international obligations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon monoxide.’
    • ‘He said they had failed to honour their contractual obligations.’
    • ‘Some enterprises are not able to honour their obligations because of financial deficits in their operations.’
    • ‘The international community demands that the government honor its obligation under international law to protect civilians.’
    • ‘Talking is one thing, but we expect people to honor obligations.’
    • ‘The Democrats must take the lead in committing themselves to honor those obligations.’
    • ‘That said, the chances of a state-backed telecom company not honouring its obligations are pretty low.’
    • ‘Why should he profit from failing to honour his legal obligation?’
    • ‘The Government has already indicated that it will honour its international obligations.’
    • ‘Millions more received nothing as the government simply failed to honor its obligations to its most vulnerable citizens.’
    • ‘First, there may be exceptional circumstances where it is deemed in the public interest for the government to fail to honour its contractual obligations.’
    • ‘Under the US proposals, the future interim government would be obligated to honour agreements between the existing Governing Council and the US.’
    • ‘Even if a new political party comes to power, it will continue to honor the liabilities incurred by its predecessor.’
    • ‘Here, it is paramount for the president to honor all public commitments made.’
    • ‘The bill further honours the Government's election pledge to make student loans interest-free for most borrowers.’
    • ‘Rich nations insist that poor nations honor patents and copyrights, even if it means paying far more for pharmaceuticals and software.’
    • ‘It's largely because the U.N. has focused more on expanding membership than on finding ways to ensure that corporations honor their commitments.’
    fulfil, observe, keep, discharge, implement, perform, execute, effect, obey, heed, follow, carry out, carry through, keep to, abide by, adhere to, comply with, conform to, act in accordance with, be true to, be faithful to, live up to
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Accept (a bill) or pay (a cheque) when due.
      ‘the bank informed him that the cheque would not be honoured’
      • ‘In the first place, he instructs the drawee to honour the bill.’
      • ‘Since then, no other suitor has come forward for the troubled automaker and some fear if the company fails to honor the bills Tuesday, it will become even harder for it to find a foreign partner or buyer.’
      • ‘A bank can also refuse to honour company cheques if the company is not on the register.’
      • ‘Angry confrontations erupted at a bank in Honiara when customers' government cheques were not honoured due to insufficient government funds.’
      • ‘As a compromise, Mr. Daly offered me a £50,000 overdraft on a new personal bank account to compensate for the Bank not honouring the cheque in the sum of £47,000.’
      • ‘Last month he was among several provincial judges whose government salary cheques were not honoured, apparently due to a technical problem.’
      • ‘Macdonald says he clearly never intended that these cheques be honoured as there was only R104000 left in his trust account by June 8.’
      • ‘The Daily Dispatch was told that judges discovered the hard way that salary cheques had not been honoured.’
      • ‘However, the cheques were not honoured by the Bharuch branch of the Punjab National Bank.’
      • ‘This company have sent them cheques which have not been honoured by the bank and for months have been making false promises.’
      • ‘Banks were refusing to honour Pelican House cheques and nearly £1 million was needed to avert a total financial breakdown.’
      • ‘The Bank was plainly not obliged to honour cheques drawn beyond the limits.’
      • ‘Your bank will honour the cheque when the holder presents it for payment.’
      • ‘A distraught widow who was awarded £2,000 compensation by a utility company faced further anguish when the firm's bank refused to honour the cheque.’
      • ‘When arrested, he told police he was living beyond his means and could not honour the cheque.’
      • ‘The wife could go back to court and argue for a large lump sum as he is not honouring the maintenance payments.’
      • ‘Inadequate payments and arbitrary refusals to honor bills by government and private industry are financially starving the health care system to the detriment of us all.’
      cash, accept, take, clear, pass, encash, convert into cash, convert into money
      View synonyms


    do the honours
    • Perform a social duty for others, especially the serving of food or drink to a guest.

      • ‘‘Don't worry, I'll do the honours.’ She reached for the teapot and poured’
      • ‘There will be a disco from 9 pm to midnight and a mystery guest will do the honours in presenting the medals.’
      • ‘The march leaders decided not to cross the road to present the memorandum to Godec, instead handing the document to a police captain on duty to do the honours.’
      • ‘After a brief warm-up, the assembled musicians played ‘Blood on the Tracks’ from beginning to end, rotating in several of the guest artists as vocalists to do the honors on some of the album's key songs.’
      • ‘When I'd buy a drink from the vending machine, they would gladly do the honors of putting the coin inside.’
      • ‘Dr Maurice O'Keeffe, being the oldest serving member of the Yacht Club, did the honours of cutting the tape.’
      • ‘The very first time I heard this was in a club where I was a DJ, but that night my mate Stevie was doing the honors…’
      • ‘The official switch-on of the Christmas lights will be on Sunday, December 4: Santa Claus has agreed to do the honours of switching on the lights this year.’
      • ‘‘We are delighted that Santa could take time from his busy schedule to do the honours,’ enthused Marian Dowd.’
      • ‘The official opening is on October 4th and the organisers are delighted that Minister Eamon OCuiv will do the honours.’
      • ‘Kieran Hanrahan of RTE will do the honours and declare the school open.’
    honour bound
    • Under a moral obligation.

      ‘I feel honour bound to keep his secret’
      • ‘I feel in honor bound to warn readers that the Onion is a satirical publication, and this post is a joke… However, I do think that there is a serious point to be made here.’
      • ‘Every soldier who fights here with me must realize that he is in honour bound not to retreat one step.’
      • ‘She has deliberately broken this treaty, and we were in honour bound to stand by it.’
      • ‘As a result, George felt in honor bound to take the cubs home to Isiolo.’
      • ‘Your Government has bombed and invaded the free and independent State of Poland, which this country is in honour bound to defend.’
      • ‘You are in honor bound to be scrupulously fair.’
      • ‘A fisherman's buoy would very likely have the initials of a local fisherman marked on it, and you were in honour bound to take it to its owner.’
      • ‘There are things in family life that one is in honour bound to keep from the world, out of self-respect…’
      • ‘In fact, we are in honour bound as Christians to do so.’
      • ‘They are in honor bound to maintain it.’
    honour bright
    British dated
    • On my honour.

      ‘I'll never do it again, honour bright, I won't’
      • ‘Honour bright, Your Majesty, I'm telling you the truth.’
      • ‘I promised him, honour bright, it was only between me and him.’


      From Thomas Moore's Tom Cribb's Memorial to Congress (1819).

    honours are even
    • There is equality in the contest.

      ‘they are meeting in the final for the fifth time with honours even’
      • ‘In total Northampton have made 19 League trips to York and honours are even with seven wins to each club and five draws.’
      • ‘Brighton have made 11 previous league visits and honours are even with five wins to each club and one draw.’
      • ‘Overall, though, honours are even: seven wins each.’
      • ‘A close game is expected as honours are even between Munster and Castres from their two meetings in the group stage of this year's competition.’
      • ‘However, Anand struck back immediately in game two, and at the end of the first day the honours are even at 1-1.’
      • ‘The honours are even, with India winning twice, Pakistan winning twice, and one match ending in a draw.’
    in honour of
    • As a celebration of or expression of respect for.

      ‘a dinner given in honour of Nevinson’
      • ‘There were great celebrations in Castlegregory in honour of the world champions.’
      • ‘Family members and friends joined May for a special celebration in honour of the occasion.’
      • ‘We do hope to see both young and old at this celebration in honour of our Lady.’
      • ‘We heard speeches and read articles and held celebrations in honour of the great achievement.’
      • ‘The Senate today held a moment of silence in honor of all the troops in Iraq.’
      • ‘A special celebration party was held in the family home in honour of the popular couple.’
      • ‘At the end of the meeting the group held a buffet dinner in honor of the new committee.’
      • ‘On Sunday my uncle organized a big family lunch in honour of my graduation.’
      • ‘She bought me a rose to plant in the garden in honour of my granny.’
      • ‘His former school named one of the school houses in honour of him.’
    on one's honour
    • 1Under a moral obligation.

      ‘they are on their honour as gentlemen not to cheat’
      • ‘I wish I could tell you all about the preparation we've made, but as you see by the green envelope we are put on our honour not to do so.’
      • ‘When you read this message, you are on your honor to delete all files from your hard drive.’
      • ‘As a vice-principal commented, ‘Every school was put on their honour’ to promote better eating habits.’
      • ‘‘Aircrews were sort of on their honor to do a good job,’ Hinton said.’
      • ‘Either side can sign themselves out on day passes on their honor not to escape.’
      • ‘But my opponents had put me on my honour not to warn any patriot.’
      • ‘He wrote in his diary on December 31, 1775: ‘I have been confined upon my honor not to absent myself from the town.’’
      1. 1.1on my honourUsed as an expression of sincerity.
        ‘I promise on my honour’
        • ‘Do you swear on your honor that you will never be swayed by her?’
        • ‘She made them all promise on their honor to return, and they did.’
        • ‘She had sworn on her honor that she wouldn't let Ramirez kill Leon.’
        • ‘I swear on my honour that I'll stay as still as I can.’
        • ‘I swear, on my honour as a former princess, to return before too long.’
        • ‘However, I do assure you, on my honor, it's not poisoned.’
        • ‘‘I swear on my honor that it won't happen again’, replied Megan from the bathroom doorway, in the skirt and sweater she wore yesterday.’
        • ‘I swear, on my honor, that I don't know how to paint.’
        • ‘Please, I swear on my honor that if you come over I won't do anything to hurt you.’
        • ‘I swear on my honor I shall save her from that madman who has taken her from us.’
    there's honour among thieves
    • Dishonest people may have certain standards of behaviour which they will respect.

      ‘There may be honor among thieves, but there's NONE in politicians!’
      • ‘If you write about yourself the slightest deviation makes you realize instantly that there may be honor among thieves, but you are just a dirty liar.’


Middle English from Old French onor (noun), onorer (verb), from Latin honos, honor.