Title of honor
An honorary title or title of honor is a title bestowed upon individuals or organizations as an award
An award is something given to a person or a group of people to recognize excellence in a certain field; a certificate of excellence. Awards are often signifiedby trophies, titles, certificates, commemorative plaques, medals, badges, pins, or ribbons...

 in recognition of their merits.

Sometimes the title bears the same or nearly the same name as a title of authority
Title of authority
Title of authority, title of office or title of command is the official designation of a position held in an organization associated with certain duties of authority....

, but the person bestowed does not have to carry any duties, possibly except for ceremonial ones.

Some examples of honorary titles from various areas are:
  • Colonel (title)
    Colonel (title)
    The honorary title of Colonel is conferred by some states in the United States of America and certain units of the Canadian Forces. The origins of the titular colonelcy can be traced back to colonial and antebellum times when men of the landed gentry were given the title for financing the local...

  • Knight
    A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....

     of an honorific order
  • Hero of the Russian Federation
    Hero of the Russian Federation
    Hero of the Russian Federation is a Russian decoration and the highest honorary title that can be bestowed on a citizen by the Russian Federation. The President of the Russian Federation is the main conferring authority of the medal, which is bestowed on those committing actions or deeds that...

  • People's Artist
    People's Artist
    People's Artist is a honorary title in the Soviet Union, Union republics, in some other Eastern bloc states , as well as in a number of post-Soviet states, modeled after the title of the People's Artist of the USSR....

  • Queen's Scout
    Queen's Scout
    The Queen's Scout Award is the highest youth award achievable in the Scouting movement in several countries. It is awarded in realms of the Commonwealth, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand where the Scouts operate under the ceremonial leadership of the monarch.The...

  • Academician
    The title Academician denotes a Full Member of an art, literary, or scientific academy.In many countries, it is an honorary title. There also exists a lower-rank title, variously translated Corresponding Member or Associate Member, .-Eastern Europe and China:"Academician" may also be a functional...

  • Patriarch of Venice
    Patriarch of Venice
    The Patriarch of Venice is the ordinary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice. The bishop is one of the few Patriarchs in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church...

  • An academic honorary degree
    Honorary degree
    An honorary degree or a degree honoris causa is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements, such as matriculation, residence, study, and the passing of examinations...

     or position, such as honorary Professor.

Man of the Year
Person of the Year
Person of the Year is an annual issue of the United States newsmagazine Time that features and profiles a person, couple, group, idea, place, or machine that "for better or for worse, ...has done the most to influence the events of the year."- History :The tradition of selecting a Man of the Year...

 is not an honorary title.

Some historical honorary titles may be bought, just like certain nobility
Nobility is a social class which possesses more acknowledged privileges or eminence than members of most other classes in a society, membership therein typically being hereditary. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be...

 titles. This has long been a matter of fraud, both outright and indirect.

Some honorary titles serve as positions of sinecure
A sinecure means an office that requires or involves little or no responsibility, labour, or active service...

 and honorary retirement
Retirement is the point where a person stops employment completely. A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours.Many people choose to retire when they are eligible for private or public pension benefits, although some are forced to retire when physical conditions don't allow the person to...


See also

  • Hereditary titles
  • Honorary titles in Russia
    Honorary titles in Russia
    Honorary titles of Russian Federation are titles given to people of Russia for their professional and other achievements.During the Soviet Union a system of professional honorary titles for the USSR was created to be used across the USSR, in Union republics, and Autonomous republics republics. The...

  • False titles of nobility
    False titles of nobility
    False titles of nobility are supposed titles of nobility that have been fabricated and are not recognised by any government and were not so recognised in the past, even in countries in which titles of nobility once existed or still exist. They have received an increasing amount of press attention,...

  • Honorific
    An honorific is a word or expression with connotations conveying esteem or respect when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term is used not quite correctly to refer to an honorary title...

  • Style (manner of address)
    Style (manner of address)
    A style of office, or honorific, is a legal, official, or recognized title. A style, by tradition or law, precedes a reference to a person who holds a post or political office, and is sometimes used to refer to the office itself. An honorific can also be awarded to an individual in a personal...

  • Royal and noble styles
    Royal and noble styles
    Styles represent the fashion by which monarchs and noblemen are properly addressed. Throughout history, many different styles were used, with little standardization...

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