Emeritus (/ɪˈmɛrɪtəs/),[Note 1] in its current usage, is an
adjective used to designate a retired professor, pastor, bishop, pope,
director, president, prime minister, or other person.
In some cases, the term is conferred automatically upon all persons
who retire at a given rank, but in others, it remains a mark of
distinguished service, awarded to only a few on retirement. It is also
used when a person of distinction in a profession retires or hands
over the position, enabling their former rank to be retained in their
title, e.g., "
Professor Emeritus". The term emeritus does not
necessarily signify that a person has relinquished all the duties of
their former position, and they may continue to exercise some of them.
2 In academia
3 Other uses
4 See also
8 External links
Emerere is a compound of the
Latin prefix e- (a variant of ex-)
meaning "out of, from" and merere meaning "earn"; emeritus is the past
participle of the verb. The female equivalent, emerita
(/ɪˈmɛrɪtə/), is also sometimes used, but as is often true
of loanwords, the use of the donor language's inflectional system
faces limits in the recipient language; in English, emeritus is often
unmarked for gender.
In the United States, a fully tenured professor who retires from an
educational institution in good standing may be given the title
"professor emeritus" regardless of gender. The title "professor
emerita" is sometimes used for women. In most systems and
institutions, the rank is bestowed on all professors who have retired
in good standing, while at others, it needs a special act or vote.
Professors emeriti may, depending on local circumstances, retain
office space or other privileges. The word is used either as a
postpositional adjective (e.g., "professor emeritus", Noam
Chomsky, the renowned scholar and MIT professor emeritus), or as a
prepositional adjective (e.g., "emeritus professor"). The concept
has in some places been expanded to include tenured associate
professors or non-tenure-track faculty.
United Kingdom and most other parts of the world,[citation
needed] the term "emeritus professor" is given only to a person of
outstanding merit who had full professorial status before he or she
retired. The possession of a PhD or other higher degree, or even full
professorial status, is not sufficient for calling oneself "emeritus
professor" upon retirement. The term "
Professor Emeritus" is also
recognised in the United Kingdom. The word is capitalized when it
forms part of a title which is capitalized.
Oxbridge colleges may
appoint distinguished fellows who have retired as "
When a diocesan bishop or auxiliary bishop retires, the word emeritus
is added to his former title, i.e., "Archbishop
Emeritus of ...",
Emeritus of ...", or "Auxiliary
Emeritus of ..."
Examples of usage are: "The Most Reverend (or Right Reverend) John
Emeritus of Anytown"; and "His Eminence Cardinal James
Emeritus of Anycity". The term "
Bishop Emeritus" of
a particular see can apply to several people, if the first lives long
enough. The sees listed in the 2007 Annuario Pontificio as having more
than one (Arch)
Emeritus included Zárate-Campana,
Villavicencio, Versailles, and Uruguaiana. There were even three
Archbishops Emeriti of Taipei. The same suffix was applied to the
Bishop of Rome,
Emeritus Benedict XVI, on his retirement. In the
Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church the word emeritus does not imply that the person
in question is no longer a priest.
Since 2001, the honorary title of president pro tempore emeritus has
been given to a Senator of the minority party who has previously
served as president pro tempore of the United States Senate. The
position has been held by
Strom Thurmond (R-South Carolina)
Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) (2003-2007), Ted Stevens
(R-Alaska) (2007-2009), and
Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont)
It is also commonly used in business and nonprofit organizations to
denote perpetual status of the founder of an organization or
individuals who moved the organization to new heights as a former key
member on the board of directors (e.g., chairman emeritus;
director emeritus; president of the board emeritus).
In Community of Christ, the status of emeritus is occasionally granted
to senior officials upon retirement. In 1938, Frederick A. Smith was
given the title of "president emeritus" of the Order of Evangelists
(one of the presiding councils of the church), though the president of
that body at that time was more commonly known as Presiding Patriarch.
Roy A. Cheville became Presiding Patriarch
Emeritus in 1974. W.
Wallace Smith became the first person to retire as
President of the
Church (all prior presidents having served until death), and was
accorded the title
Emeritus in 1978. His successor, Wallace
B. Smith, was also given the title of
President Emeritus, upon his own
retirement in 1996. He continues to hold that status to this day.
Professors emeriti in the United States
President pro tempore emeritus of the United States Senate
Diocesan bishop (bishop emeritus in the Catholic Church)
List of academic ranks
^ feminine emerita or emeritus; plural emeriti (masc.) or emeritae
(fem.); abbreviation emer.
^ See Etymonline: "emeritus"
Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House. Retrieved
Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
^ Text - S.Res.6 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): A resolution expressing
the thanks of the Senate to the Honorable Patrick J. Leahy for his
President Pro Tempore of the...
New Oxford American Dictionary
New Oxford American Dictionary (2nd edition), 2005.
Emeritus, Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary (3rd edition), 1997.
Look up emeritus in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.