Honor or honour, is an abstract concept of a perceived quality of virtues, worthiness and respectability that affects both the social standing and the self-evaluation of an individual or corporate body such as a family, school, regiment or nation. Accordingly, individuals (or corporate bodies) are assigned worth and stature based on the harmony of their actions with a specific code of honour, and the moral code of the society at large. In Psychological nativism it is viewed as being as real to the human condition as love, and likewise deriving from the formative personal bonds that establish one's personal dignity and character; from stances of moral relativism, it can be perceived as arising from universal concerns for material circumstance and status, rather than fundamental differences in principle between those who hold different honour codes. Samuel Johnson, defined honour as having several senses, the first of which was "nobility of soul, magnanimity, and a scorn of meanness."
- Better to die ten thousand deaths,
Than wound my honour.
- Joseph Addison, Cato, A Tragedy (1713), Act I, scene 4.
- Content thyself to be obscurely good.
When vice prevails and impious men bear sway,
The post of honor is a private station.
- Joseph Addison, Cato, A Tragedy (1713), Act IV, scene 4.
- “Honor” sighs softly on the wind, teasing my ears, and I want to scream at the absolute idiocy of it. I did the wrong thing for the right reasons and I'm supposed to be happy with that?
- Bernie Arntzen, On My Honor in Assassin Fantastic (ed. Martin H. Greenberg and Alexander Potter, 2001), p. 235
- Honor is like the eye, which cannot suffer the least impurity without damage. It is a precious stone, the price of which is lessened by a single flaw.
- Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, quoted in "The Forbes Book of Business Quotations" (1997) by Edward C. Goodman, Ted Goodman , p. 411.
- "What is honor, and riches, and the favor of creatures - so long as I lack the favor of God, the pardon of my sins, a saving interest in Christ, and the hope of glory! O Lord, give me these, or I die! Give me these, or else I shall eternally die!"
- Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices.
- Honour is like a widow, won
With brisk attempt and putting on.
- Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part II (1664), Canto I.
- Now, while the honour thou hast got
Is spick and span new.
- Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part I (1663-64), Canto III, line 397.
- If he that in the field is slain
Be in the bed of honour lain,
He that is beaten may be said
To lie in Honour's truckle-bed.
- Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part I (1663-64), Canto III, line 1,047.
- As quick as lightning, in the breach
Just in the place where honour's lodged,
As wise philosophers have judged,
Because a kick in that place more
Hurts Honour than deep wounds before.
- Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part II (1664), Canto III, line 1,066.
- True honour is an attachment to honest and beneficent principles, and a good reputation; and prompts a man to do good to others, and indeed to all men, at his own cost, pains, or peril. False honour is a pretence to this character, but does things that destroy it: And the abuse of honour is called honour, by those who from that good word borrow credit to act basely, rashly, or foolishly.
- Thomas Gordon (Saturday, December 16, 1721). Cato's Letter No. 57, Of false Honour, publick and private.
- To the King, one must give his possessions and his life; but honour is a possession of soul, and the soul is only God's."
- Pedro Calderón de la Barca, The Mayor of Zalamea, 1st day, character Pedro Crespo.
- You are not running for reelection here. Be tough when necessary, impartial always. Guard your honor.
- John Chapman, Muddy Boots Leadership: Real Life Stories and Personal Examples of Good, Bad, and Unexpected Results (2006), p. 93
- Honour is a luxury for aristocrats, but it is a necessity for hall-porters.
- G. K. Chesterton. Heretics (1905), Ch. XIII.
- Semper in fide quid senseris, non quid dixeris, cogitandum.
- In honorable dealing you should consider what you intended, not what you said or thought.
- Cicero, De Officiis (44 B.C.), I. 13.
- I have never had to look up a definition of honor. I knew instinctively what it was. It is something I had the day I was born, and I never had to question where it came from or by what right it was mine. If I was stripped of my honor, I would choose death as certainly and unemotionally as I clean my shoes in the morning. Honor is the presence of God in man.
- Pat Conroy, The Lords of Discipline (1980), p. 46. Said by the character General Bentley Durrell
- "We have no other choice. Our submission would serve no end; if Germany is victorious, Belgium, whatever her attitude, will be annexed to the Reich. If die we must, better death with honour."
- Prime Minister Charles de Broqueville of Belgium, responding to Germany's demand for Belgium's capitulation, 2 August 1914
- The honor of a nation is an important thing. It is said in the Scriptures, “What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” It may be said, also, What doth it profit a nation if it gain the whole world, but lose its honor?
- "Honour thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."
- Exodus 20:12, KJV.
- Titles of honour add not to his worth,
Who is himself an honour to his titles.
- John Ford, The Lady's Trial (licensed 3 May 1638; printed 1639), Act I, scene 3, line 30.
- Give me, kind Heaven, a private station,
A mind serene for contemplation:
Title and profit I resign:
The post of honor shall be mine.
- John Gay, Fables (1727), Part II. The Vulture, the Sparrow and other Birds.
- "Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing."
- Robert E. Howard, The Tower of the Elephant.
- And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
- Thomas Jefferson, in the Declaration of Independence (1776).
- πῶς δύνασθε ὑμεῖς πιστεῦσαι, δόξαν παρὰ ἀλλήλων λαμβάνοντες, καὶ τὴν δόξαν τὴν παρὰ τοῦ μόνου Θεοῦ οὐ ζητεῖτε;
- Whoever appeals to the law against his fellow man is either a fool or a coward. Whoever cannot take care of himself without that law is both. For a wounded man shall say to his assailant, "If I live, I will kill you. If I die, you are forgiven." Such is the rule of honor.
- Lamb of God, Omerta.
- Before gray hair you should rise up, and you must show honor to an older man, and you must be in fear of your God. I am Jehovah.
- "Oh Lord! How many of these you surely have spilt over the world, who suffer for the black so-called honour what they would not suffer for you!" (Lázaro) [...] "I make you know that I am, as you see, a squire; but, by God!, if Ï meet the count on the street and he does not fully take off his hat before me, next time I will know to enter a house, simulating to have some business there, or cross to another street, if there is one, before he reaches me, so that I will not take off mine. That a hidalgo does not owe anything to anybody but God and the king, nor it is proper, being a good man, to lose a comma of care in regarding himself highly." (The Squire)
- Lazarillo de Tormes, Anonymous, Third Tract.
- "We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst."
- C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man.
- I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not honor more.
- Richard Lovelace, in Lucasta (1649), To Lucasta: Going to the Wars, st. 3.
- All honour comes from God, said Homer of old; he spoke exactly like St Paul, without having plagiarized him. One thing certain is that man cannot impart that indefinable characteristic that is called dignity.
- Joseph de Maistre, Considerations on France (1796), ch. VII
- "Duty, Honor, Country" — those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.
- Douglas MacArthur, Sylvanus Thayer Award acceptance speech to the cadets of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York (12 May 1962)
- "Chose disgrace where obedience did not bring honour"
- Anon. inscription on tombstone of Prussian General Johann Friedrich Adolf von der Marwitz, who received after the victory over Saxony an order by Frederick the Great to take and remove the famous library of Count Brühl to Berlin and who replied to his king: "This is unbefitting to an officer of His Majesty" and resigned his commission.
- "… during the time that the aristocracy was dominant, the concepts honour, loyalty, etc. were dominant, during the dominance of the bourgeoisie the concepts freedom, equality, etc."
- In honour I gained them, and in honour I will die with them.
- Horatio Nelson, Life of Nelson (ch. 9), when asked to cover the stars on his uniform to hide his rank during battle.
- "I will be forced to sink [the US ships], because even if I have one ship left I will proceed with the bombardment. Spain, the Queen and I prefer honour without ships than ships without honour."
- "Honor is what a man owns...."
- Esteban Pallares "The Honorable Pallares", p. 1,562.
- Yea, much more those that seem to be the more feeble members of the body, are more necessary. And such as we think to be the less honourable members of the body, about these we put more abundant honour; and those that are our uncomely parts, have more abundant comeliness. But our comely parts have no need [...]
- Saint Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:22-24 (as quoted in Catholic Bible Douay-Rehims)
- Are you not ashamed that you give your attention to acquiring as much money as possible, and similarly with reputation and honor, and give no attention or thought to truth and understanding and the perfection of your soul?
- Plato, Apology, 29e
- Honour and shame from no condition rise;
Act well your part, there all the honour lies.
- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle IV, line 193.
- "To die with honour, when one can no longer live with honour."
- Giacomo Puccini, Madama Butterfly.
- A bon entendeur ne faut qu'un parole.
- A good intention does not mean honor.
- François Rabelais, Pantagruel (1532), Book V, Chapter VII.
- It is never easy to give honor where great honor is due.
- Peter W. Schramm, "One Last Card to Play" (3 February 2009), Claremont Review of Books
- See that you come
Not to woo honour, but to wed it.
- William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well (1600s), Act II, scene 1, line 14.
- Honours thrive,
When rather from our acts we them derive
Than our foregoers.
- William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well (1600s), Act II, scene 3, line 142.
- A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good livery of honour.
- William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well (1600s), Act IV, scene 5, line 105.
- If I lose mine honour,
I lose myself; better I were not yours
Than yours so branchless.
- William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra (1600s), Act III, scene 4, line 22.
- For he's honourable
And doubling that, most holy.
- William Shakespeare, Cymbeline (1611), Act III, scene 4, line 179.
- Methinks it were an easy leap,
To pluck bright honour from the pale-fac'd moon.
- William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I (c. 1597), Act I, scene 3, line 201.
- And pluck up drowned honour by the locks.
- William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I (c. 1597), Act I, scene 3, line 205.
- Well, 'tis no matter; honour pricks me on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off, when I come on? how then? Can honour set to a leg? no: or an arm? no: or take away the grief of a wound? no: Honour hath no skill in surgery, then? no. What is honour? a word. What is that word honour? air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it? he that died o' Wednesday. Doth he feel it? no. Doth he hear it? no. Is it insensible, then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? no. Why? detraction will not suffer it. Therefore, I'll none of it. Honour is a mere scutcheon; and so ends my catechism.
- William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I (c. 1597), Act V, scene 1, line 129.
- It yearns me not, if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
But, if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
- William Shakespeare, Henry V (1599), Act IV, scene iii
- For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men.
- William Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar (1599), Act III, scene 2, line 87.
- Thou art a fellow of a good respect;
Thy life hath had some smatch of honour in it.
- William Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar (1599), Act V, scene 5, line 45.
- Let none presume
To wear an undeserv'd dignity.
O, that estates, degrees and offices
Were not deriv'd corruptly, and that clear honour
Were purchas'd by the merit of the wearer!
- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (late 1590s), Act II, scene 9, line 39.
- Mine honor is my life, both grow in one. Take honor from me, and my life is done. Then, dear my liege, mine honor let me try; In that I live, and for that I will die.
- William Shakespeare, Richard II (c. 1595), Act I, scene I, lines 182-185.
- And as the sun breaks through the darkest clouds,
So honour peereth in the meanest habit.
- William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew (c. 1593-94), Act IV, scene 3, line 175.
- I had rather crack my sinews, break my back,
Than you should such dishonour undergo.
- William Shakespeare, The Tempest (c. 1610-1612), Act III, scene 1, line 26.
- For honour travels in a strait so narrow,
Where one but goes abreast.
- William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida (c. 1602), Act III, scene 3, line 154.
- Honour sits smiling at the sale of truth.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab (1813), Canto IV, line 218.
- Honours ought to come from merit, and from merit alone.
- Lord St. Leonards, Brownlow v. Egerton (1853), 23 L. J. Rep. (N. S.) 415; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 100.
- A man is honorable in proportion to the personal risks he takes for his opinion.
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder (2012) Ch. 9. Fat Tony and the Fragilistas, p. 147.
- Honor is only a label they use for what they want you to do. Chernon. They want you to stay, so they call staying honorable.
- Sheri S. Tepper, The Gate to Women's Country (1988), Chapter 14
- Duty, Honor, Country
- Motto of the United States Military Academy
- "… Honour … remains awake in us like a last lamp in a temple that has been laid to waste."
- Alfred de Vigny, Servitude et grandeur militaires (1835).