<adjective>

1. Worthy of honor; fit to be esteemed or regarded; estimable; illustrious.

2. High-minded; actuated by principles of honor, or a scrupulous regard to probity, rectitude, or reputation.

3. Proceeding from an upright and laudable cause, or directed to a just and proper end; not base; irreproachable; fair; as, an honorable motive.

4. Conferring honor, or produced by noble deeds.

5. Worthy of respect; regarded with esteem; to be commended; consistent with honor or rectitude.

6. Performed or accompanied with marks of honor, or with testimonies of esteem; as, an honorable burial.

7. Of reputable association or use; respectable.

8. An epithet of respect or distinction; as, the honorable Senate; the honorable gentleman.

Honorable is a title of quality, conferred by English usage upon the younger children of earls and all the children of viscounts and barons. The maids of honor, lords of session, and the supreme judges of England and Ireland are entitled to the prefix. In American usage, it is a title of courtesy merely, bestowed upon those who hold, or have held, any of the higher public offices, esp. governors, judges, members of Congress or of the Senate, mayors, and often also extended to lower officials, such as city council members.

(05 Feb 2009)

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