• (Of the former holder of an office, especially a college professor) Having retired but allowed to retain their title as an honor.

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Example Sentences

“The banquet was held every year to honor the emeritus professors.”

“She sometimes still attends meetings as an emeritus director of the organization.” 

“The president emeritus of the university was invited back to speak at graduation.”

Word Origin

Latin, mid-18th century

Why this word?

In Latin, the verb “emereri” means “to earn one’s discharge by service.” “Emeritus” originates from this verb, essentially designating someone who has earned retirement but is still entitled to the honor they’ve earned. The female form is technically “emerita,” but the outdated term is rarely still used. “Emeritus” is most commonly used now in academic settings. Throughout the course of their careers, some professors are honored with tenure, aka permanent teaching positions. When they’re ready to retire, they can retain certain privileges of their former status with an emeritus role.

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