Definition of honorary in English:



  • 1Conferred as an honour, without the usual requirements or functions.

    ‘an honorary doctorate’
    • ‘The other honour that gave him particular pleasure was his honorary doctorate from Melbourne University.’
    • ‘She retired from politics in 1989 with 28 honorary doctorates and two nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize.’
    • ‘Mysore University had conferred an honorary doctorate on him.’
    • ‘He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Maynooth University in 1995 for his outstanding contribution to the Catholic Church in Ireland.’
    • ‘Oscar-winning composer John Barry has picked up another award - an honorary doctorate from the university in his home city of York.’
    • ‘Professor Foster was conferred with an honorary DLit degree by Queen's University Belfast in 1998.’
    • ‘Among many other honours, we should mention that he received honorary doctorates from the universities of Athens and Tel Aviv.’
    • ‘During his visit to Ireland, Peck was conferred with an honorary doctorate in literature by the National University of Ireland in April 2000.’
    • ‘At the University's fall convocation on October 25, honorary degrees will be conferred on five distinguished scholars.’
    • ‘The man who led Russia through the most difficult days of his country's shift to democracy, will also be conferred with an honorary degree during his two-day trip.’
    • ‘Her accomplishments have led twenty-three universities to confer on her honorary doctorate degrees.’
    • ‘Dublin and St Andrews honoured Conway with honorary degrees in 1938.’
    • ‘In 1959 she formally retired from Wheaton College and the following year the College honoured her with the award of an honorary Doctorate of Science.’
    • ‘In 1993, the University of Natal conferred an honorary doctorate on him for his services to environmental conservation.’
    • ‘In 2002 they led a spectacular parade through Skipton when Craven District Council conferred honorary citizenship of the district upon the regiment.’
    • ‘Furthermore, he received an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art in London in 1989.’
    • ‘Hers is among 21 honorary awards being conferred this year at Sheffield Hallam University's graduation ceremonies.’
    • ‘Broadcaster, author and lecturer PJ Curtis was also conferred with an honorary MA at Tuesday's ceremony.’
    • ‘Rudin has received many honours for her work, including at least four honorary doctorates, and will continue to receive further awards.’
    • ‘Mr Prodi will be conferred with an honorary doctorate at a special ceremony in the University of Limerick in the afternoon.’
    titular, nominal, in name only, in title only, unofficial, token, so-called
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    1. 1.1 (of a person) holding an honorary title or position.
      ‘an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons’
      • ‘Derek Hall, ex-chairman of the college corporation board was made an honorary Fellow of the College.’
      • ‘Concert pianist Marcel Zidani, an honorary member of the trust, who lives in Honeybourne, will play a composition he has written himself, at All Saints Church.’
      • ‘Rempel headed the board for 16 years and then became an honorary member for life.’
      • ‘In recognition of his achievements, he is honorary member of about 30 clubs worldwide.’
      • ‘Those who become involved will become honorary members of the Inch Polo Club and its facilities will be available to the members throughout the festival.’
      • ‘The writer is honorary senior research fellow in sociology and modern Korea at Leeds University.’
      • ‘His chief love was fishing, and although he gave up active angling when he was about 80 he remained an honorary member of Keighley Angling Club.’
      • ‘In the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists she was a member of council, a vice president, a member of the court of patrons, and an honorary fellow.’
      • ‘Two Oxford academics have been elected honorary members of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences.’
      • ‘Seasoned journalists still remember her calling in for a drink as an honorary member of the Manchester Press Club, in Deansgate, in 1977.’
      • ‘As a result of all his services to Australian philosophy he was made an honorary fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.’
      • ‘The University of Bolton has announced its first honorary fellows.’
      • ‘For some inexplicable reason the former was made an honorary member.’
      • ‘Last July, he was named an honorary fellow of UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, for his work in helping the world's most vulnerable children.’
      • ‘Baroness Thatcher is currently a member of the House of Lords and an honorary fellow at the Hoover Institution.’
      • ‘Professor Sir Harry Kroto, Nobel Laureate and honorary fellow of the university, will lead the congratulations in a keynote speech.’
      • ‘Soon after his return, he became an honorary member of the board of directors of the Dusseldorf Zoological Garden.’
      • ‘He is also an honorary member of the Bowling Association.’
      • ‘He was given the title of honorary physician to the Queen in 1967 for his public health work in Lancashire and for advising the Ministry of Health.’
      • ‘He was also elected to honorary positions such as honorary president of the Janos Bolyai Mathematical Society and the John von Neumann Society for Computer Science.’
  • 2British (of an office or its holder) unpaid.

    ‘Honorary Secretary of the Association’
    • ‘She was a council member and honorary secretary of the Scottish Radiological Society.’
    • ‘He was honorary consultant to the army and to St Thomas's Hospital.’
    • ‘I met him often when I was honorary publicity officer for the Bradford branch of the Royal Life Saving Society.’
    • ‘He felt that it was time to consult honorary representatives to ensure that things were improving and to obtain their feedback and suggestions for additional enhancements.’
    • ‘Booker was recognized for her work as honorary consul and her efforts at promoting Australian Aboriginal art.’
    • ‘On retirement he worked assiduously as honorary consultant in chemotherapy and cancer care at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary.’
    • ‘She was appointed lecturer and honorary consultant physician at the Hammersmith Hospital and Postgraduate Medical School when she was still only 30.’
    • ‘He was subsequently invited to become the country's honorary consul in Sheffield, where there is a large Polish community.’
    • ‘I felt immediately that the role of honorary consul was one I could play with conviction and competence.’
    • ‘The club's honorary secretary Ian Gair said members were happy and relieved by the planning committee's decision, but he acknowledged there were still hurdles to clear.’
    • ‘‘No one could ever have imagined this horror,’ says Mike Wilson, Britain's first honorary consul on the island.’
    • ‘He was urological consultant to the army and honorary consulting urologist at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, from 1951 to 1975.’
    • ‘Sol is honorary consul for Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.’
    • ‘His first official honorary consultant post came in 1946 when he was appointed to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.’
    • ‘He became professor of surgery and honorary consultant surgeon in Bristol in 1988.’
    • ‘The UK ambassador to Thailand will represent Britain at commemorative events on Phi Phi island and Britain's honorary consul is attending a ceremony on Phuket.’
    • ‘Consultants with honorary contracts, who are almost exclusively those with academic posts, were much more likely than others to hold awards at all levels.’
    • ‘In York it had been found impossible to found a branch of the Royal Society, owing to the lack of a chairman and honorary secretary, although there were 150 members in the city.’
    • ‘Tony Thorpe, honorary secretary, said that it is a private members club with 150 members.’
    • ‘Here his interest in sports medicine started and in 1965 he became honorary medical officer to Cardiff City Football Club.’
    unpaid, unsalaried, without pay, without payment, for nothing
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Early 17th century: from Latin honorarius, from honor ‘honour’.