Honor: Traditional Meaning and Broader Definition | Free Essay Example

Honor: Traditional Meaning and Broader Definition

Words: 500
Topic: Philosophy


Our society rests on some basic ideas and notions that create the basis for its further rise and evolution. Such unique phenomena as pride, dignity, joy, devotion, etc. are an integral part of our everyday life. They appeared at the very first stages of the evolution of the human world and had been going along with society. Besides, honor is one of these basic notions. Oxford dictionary defines it as “high respect, esteem” (“Honor” par. 1). Moreover, this very word could be treated like “adherence to what is right or to a conventional standard of conduct” (“Honor” par. 2). Yet, I should say that I have a broader understanding of honor which incorporates numerous meanings peculiar to this word. Honor could be considered a unique quality that results in the appearance of a certain code or standard which is respected by society and might bring some privileges.

Traditional meaning

Besides, the term honor is often used in specific contexts to emphasize its positive meaning and point out a person who possesses it. Traditionally, it was also associated with the privileged social class. For this reason, nobility was one of the synonyms of honor (“Nobility” par. 4). In this regard, some traditional definitions which the dictionary suggests and which state that honor is a certain privilege become clear.

Shades of meaning

Therefore, the long history of this very term resulted in the acquisition of numerous meanings and shades that could be used in a different context. A person might act with honor which means that he/she follows a specific code approved by society. In that case, the nature of all persons actions is conditioned by the high morals and values appreciated by him/her. From this perspective, the term honor could also be defined as the strict adherence to a code of ethics that is respected by society at the moment.

Peculiarities of the broader definition

Speaking about my own definition of honor, it is possible to admit its broad character. As stated above, the given word has numerous meanings that depend on the context. However, honor is the unique aspect that results in the acquisition of some privileged status and not the reverse. Only in case, a person acts in accordance with the moral code, he/she could expect to be rewarded by societys approval. Moreover, every person should possess this quality to be able to rise spiritually and cultivate positive values. In this regard, the word honor also obtains the meaning of some moral landmark that helps a person to remain a human being and determines the nature of all actions.


Altogether, the term honor has numerous treatments that appeared in the course of the evolution of our society. The definition given by the dictionary implies some privilege or adherence to specific conduct. However, the meaning of the word is much broader, and it could be used to describe a mode of life, specific act, or a set of values peculiar to a person that impacts all his/her actions.

Works Cited

“Honor.” Oxforddictionaries.com, Web.

“Nobility.” Merriam-Webster.com, Web.