Definition of honourable in English:


(US honorable)


  • 1Bringing or deserving honour.

    ‘this is the only honourable course’
    ‘a decent and honourable man’
    • ‘As Western leaders become mired in squalid chaos, there is a noticeable lack of any honourable values shining through.’
    • ‘He wants to make a career at the highest level and that's an honourable aspiration.’
    • ‘However, fear, as well as guilt, forced me to choose the more honorable course of action.’
    • ‘It is hardly the way to treat the most distinguished and longserving members of a noble and honourable profession.’
    • ‘It would be honourable for the Forum to come out in the open and declare that they are either a political party or are backing one.’
    • ‘There is nothing wrong with a government being kicked out of office for doing the right and honourable thing.’
    • ‘All I can do for you is give you the opportunity to die a quick, honorable death.’
    • ‘Her husband followed later after completing a long and honourable career in the airline business.’
    • ‘The leader of the trade union said he believed Mr Smith had done the honourable thing by resigning.’
    • ‘The integrity of the author is, of course, a prerequisite for publication in any honourable journal.’
    • ‘They told the 66-year-old that the honourable course of action would be to resign.’
    • ‘That part was true, but his reasons for marriage are not entirely honorable.’
    • ‘These are honourable motives for getting involved in the political process.’
    • ‘Even if Lena's original intentions were less than honorable, at least in the end she told Bianca the truth.’
    • ‘The most he could do was provide us with a handwritten note that vouched for our honorable intentions.’
    • ‘The idea that an honorable death is better than a life of disgrace continues in modern Japan.’
    • ‘He did not seem to trust this man and was quite sure that his intentions were not honourable.’
    • ‘By resigning she did the honourable thing and deserves credit for that.’
    • ‘And so he has done the honourable thing and admitted US election defeat.’
    • ‘So why don't they do the honourable thing and resign their posts and let the citizens run the city according to the wishes of the citizens?’
    morally correct, honest, moral, ethical, principled, righteous, right-minded, full of integrity
    illustrious, distinguished, eminent, great, admirable, glorious, prestigious, noble, notable, creditable, renowned, esteemed
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1humorous, formal (of the intentions of a man courting a woman) directed towards marriage.
      ‘the young man's intentions had been honourable’
      • ‘I went home with this girl once and her father asked, ‘Are your intentions honourable or dishonourable?’’
      • ‘He used to be very kind and dependable and I used to believe that his intentions towards were me honourable and that once he had resolved all the issues with his ex-wife and children, that he would marry me.’
      • ‘He assured him that his intentions with his daughter were honorable, and asked if he could speak to her.’
      • ‘He couldn't risk having her think his intentions were less than honorable.’
      • ‘I was beginning to feel all tingly as he gazed into the limpid pool of my eyes and professed his honorable intentions.’
  • 2Used as a title for certain high officials, the children of certain ranks of the nobility, and MPs.

    ‘the Honourable Alan Simpson, US Senator’
    • ‘His next greeting was to the Honourable Jimmy Carter, President of the United States of America.’
    • ‘The Rt. Honourable Bernard Edward Barnaby Fitz-Patrick was born at Lisduff House, Errill on April 28, 1848.’
    • ‘The Honorable William H. Pryor Jr. served as the Attorney General of the State of Alabama from 1997-2004.’


Middle English: via Old French from Latin honorabilis, from honor ‘honour’.