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The prefix Honourable or Honorable (abbr. "Hon." or formerly "Hon'ble") is a title of quality attached to the names of certain classes of persons.

Table of contents
1 Commonwealth usage
2 American usage

Commonwealth usage


In the United Kingdom, all sons and daughters of peers are entitled to the prefix for life. Normally however, sons and daughters of dukes and marquesses and daughters of earls are by courtesy known e.g. as Lord/Lady A B except on formal legal documents where they are known as The Honourable A B, commonly known as Lord/Lady A B. Similarly, eldest sons of dukes, marquesses, and earls are by courtesy known by a subsidiary title, e.g. Viscount X, and do not use the style Honourable except in the circumstance outlined above. Wives of sons of peers share the titles of their husbands, and are known e.g. as The Hon. Mrs A B.

Some persons are entitled to the prefix by virtue of their offices. Rules exist that allow certain individuals to keep the prefix Honourable even after retirement.

Many corporate entities are also entitled to the style, for example:


The style Honourable is always written on envelopes, and formally elsewhere, in which case the style Mr or Esq is omitted. In speech, however, the Honourable John Smith is referred to simply as Mr John Smith.

In the House of Commons and other lower houses of Parliament and other legislatures, members refer to each other as honourable members etc. out of courtesy, despite the fact that they are not entitled to the style in writing.

Where a person is entitled to the prefix Right Honourable he will use this higher style instead of Honourable.

American usage

In the United States, the prefix Honorable is used for a large number of persons, including:

See also: