honorific

honorifically, adv.
/on'euh rif"ik/, adj.
1. Also, honorifical. doing or conferring honor.
2. conveying honor, as a title or a grammatical form used in speaking to or about a superior, elder, etc.
n.
3. (in certain languages, as Chinese and Japanese) a class of forms used to show respect, esp. in direct address.
4. a title or term of respect.
[1640-50; < L honorificus honor-making. See HONOR-, -I-, -FIC]

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      a grammatical form used in speaking to a social superior. In English it has largely disappeared, retained only in the use of the third person when speaking to someone clearly superior in rank (“Does your highness wish it?”). In other Indo-European languages it has a vestigial form in the degree of formality attached to the use of second-person pronouns: e.g., in German Sie (“you”) rather than the familiar du (“you,” or “thou”).

      Japanese, Korean, and Javanese have extensive honorific systems, influencing vocabulary, verb conjugation, and the inflection of nouns. Nothing can be expressed in Japanese without at the same time expressing a level of politeness related to the speakers' sexes, ages, relative status, and degree of intimacy. In Japanese the deferential prefix o- can be attached to the addressee's name or to an object being discussed. The frequent use of o- shows refinement. Japanese has 10 words for “I” (differentiated by sex, formality, social status, and so on) and even an honorific, kun, to be used among boys.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • honorific — [än΄ə rif′ik] adj. [L honorificus < honor + facere, to make: see DO1] conferring honor; showing respect [an honorific title or word]: also honorifical n. an honorific title or word honorifically adv …   English World dictionary

  • Honorific — Hon or*if ic, a. [See {Honor}, { fy}, and { ic}.] Conferring honor; tending to honor. London Spectator. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • honorific — index honorary Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • honorific — (adj.) 1640s, from L. honorificus that which does honor, from honorem (see HONOR (Cf. honor) (n.)) + ficus making, from stem of facere make, do (see FACTITIOUS (Cf. factitious)). As a noun, by 1867 …   Etymology dictionary

  • honorific — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ given as a mark of respect …   English terms dictionary

  • Honorific — An honorific is a word or expression that conveys esteem or respect when used in addressing or referring to a person. Honorific may refer broadly to the style of language or particular words or grammatical markings used in this way, including… …   Wikipedia

  • honorific — [[t]ɒ̱nərɪ̱fɪk[/t]] ADJ: ADJ n An honorific title or way of talking is used to show respect or honour to someone. [FORMAL] He was given the honorific title of national chairman... All employees will refer to each other by the honorific suffix san …   English dictionary

  • honorific — UK [ˌɒnəˈrɪfɪk] / US [ˌɑnəˈrɪfɪk] noun [countable] Word forms honorific : singular honorific plural honorifics a title given to someone as a formal way of showing respect for the position that they hold Derived word: honorific UK / US adjective …   English dictionary

  • honorific — adjective Date: 1650 1. conferring or conveying honor < honorific titles > 2. belonging to or constituting a class of grammatical forms used in speaking to or about a social superior • honorific noun • honorifically adverb …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • honorific — adj. Honorific is used with these nouns: ↑title …   Collocations dictionary

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