Definition of honorary in English:



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

    ‘an honorary doctorate’
    • ‘Dublin and St Andrews honoured Conway with honorary degrees in 1938.’
    • ‘Furthermore, he received an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art in London in 1989.’
    • ‘Broadcaster, author and lecturer PJ Curtis was also conferred with an honorary MA at Tuesday's ceremony.’
    • ‘During his visit to Ireland, Peck was conferred with an honorary doctorate in literature by the National University of Ireland in April 2000.’
    • ‘Professor Foster was conferred with an honorary DLit degree by Queen's University Belfast in 1998.’
    • ‘Her accomplishments have led twenty-three universities to confer on her honorary doctorate degrees.’
    • ‘She retired from politics in 1989 with 28 honorary doctorates and two nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize.’
    • ‘Oscar-winning composer John Barry has picked up another award - an honorary doctorate from the university in his home city of York.’
    • ‘Mr Prodi will be conferred with an honorary doctorate at a special ceremony in the University of Limerick in the afternoon.’
    • ‘In 2002 they led a spectacular parade through Skipton when Craven District Council conferred honorary citizenship of the district upon the regiment.’
    • ‘The other honour that gave him particular pleasure was his honorary doctorate from Melbourne University.’
    • ‘Mysore University had conferred an honorary doctorate on him.’
    • ‘Rudin has received many honours for her work, including at least four honorary doctorates, and will continue to receive further awards.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At the University's fall convocation on October 25, honorary degrees will be conferred on five distinguished scholars.’
    • ‘In 1993, the University of Natal conferred an honorary doctorate on him for his services to environmental conservation.’
    • ‘He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Maynooth University in 1995 for his outstanding contribution to the Catholic Church in Ireland.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Hers is among 21 honorary awards being conferred this year at Sheffield Hallam University's graduation ceremonies.’
    • ‘Among many other honours, we should mention that he received honorary doctorates from the universities of Athens and Tel Aviv.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Seasoned journalists still remember her calling in for a drink as an honorary member of the Manchester Press Club, in Deansgate, in 1977.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In recognition of his achievements, he is honorary member of about 30 clubs worldwide.’
      • ‘Derek Hall, ex-chairman of the college corporation board was made an honorary Fellow of the College.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The University of Bolton has announced its first honorary fellows.’
      • ‘For some inexplicable reason the former was made an honorary member.’
      • ‘As a result of all his services to Australian philosophy he was made an honorary fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Baroness Thatcher is currently a member of the House of Lords and an honorary fellow at the Hoover Institution.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Two Oxford academics have been elected honorary members of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2British (of an office or its holder) unpaid.

    ‘Honorary Secretary of the Association’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Consultants with honorary contracts, who are almost exclusively those with academic posts, were much more likely than others to hold awards at all levels.’
    • ‘Here his interest in sports medicine started and in 1965 he became honorary medical officer to Cardiff City Football Club.’
    • ‘Sol is honorary consul for Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She was a council member and honorary secretary of the Scottish Radiological Society.’
    • ‘He was urological consultant to the army and honorary consulting urologist at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, from 1951 to 1975.’
    • ‘‘No one could ever have imagined this horror,’ says Mike Wilson, Britain's first honorary consul on the island.’
    • ‘She was appointed lecturer and honorary consultant physician at the Hammersmith Hospital and Postgraduate Medical School when she was still only 30.’
    • ‘I met him often when I was honorary publicity officer for the Bradford branch of the Royal Life Saving Society.’
    • ‘I felt immediately that the role of honorary consul was one I could play with conviction and competence.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Booker was recognized for her work as honorary consul and her efforts at promoting Australian Aboriginal art.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was subsequently invited to become the country's honorary consul in Sheffield, where there is a large Polish community.’
    • ‘He became professor of surgery and honorary consultant surgeon in Bristol in 1988.’
    • ‘His first official honorary consultant post came in 1946 when he was appointed to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.’
    • ‘On retirement he worked assiduously as honorary consultant in chemotherapy and cancer care at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary.’
    • ‘He was honorary consultant to the army and to St Thomas's Hospital.’
    unpaid, unsalaried, without pay, without payment, for nothing
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Early 17th century: from Latin honorarius, from honor ‘honour’.