I'm really confused between these three words. Most dictionaries say that all of these words have a meaning of honour. Here's what I understand, though I don't know if its right.

光栄{こうえい} ー Honor - (I.e: It is my honour to meet you / I am honoured to meet you). I don't know if this word has any other uses, though.

名誉 {めいよ} ー Prestige, credit - (名誉ある賞): Prestigious award.

栄誉 {えいよ} ー Honor with a meaning closer to "glory". If this is the case though, how is it different from 栄光?

Thanks in advance

1 Answer 1

  • 光栄 is a na-adjective. 名誉 is usually a noun but sometimes used as a na-adjective. 栄誉 is a noun.

    • 光栄なことです / 名誉なことです (×栄誉なことです)
    • 名誉を授かる / 栄誉を授かる (×光栄を授かる)
  • 栄誉 refers only to truly glorious, publicly prize-worthy things. 名誉 also refers to dignity or reputation every person has, in which case 栄誉 is not interchangeable.

    • 栄誉ある賞を受賞する / 名誉ある賞を受賞する
    • 名誉ある死 (△栄誉ある死)
    • 名誉を毀損する to defame, to derogate (×栄誉を毀損する)
  • 光栄 refers to someone's feeling of being honored. This word is used almost exclusively in "I am honored"-type sentences.

    • 光栄です/光栄に思います。 I'm honored. (× 名誉です/栄光です。)
  • 名誉 is commonly used as part of the title of a person.

    • 名誉教授 honorary/emeritus professor

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