Honour (Commonwealth English) or honor (American English; see spelling differences) is a quality of a person that is both of social teaching and of personal ethos, that manifests itself as a code of conduct, and has various elements such as valour, chivalry, honesty, and compassion. It is an abstract concept entailing a perceived quality of worthiness and respectability that affects both the social standing and the self-evaluation of an individual or of institutions such as a family, school, regiment, or nation. Accordingly, individuals (or institutions) are assigned worth and stature based on the harmony of their actions with a specific code of honour, and with the moral code of the society at large.
Samuel Johnson, in his A Dictionary of the English Language (1755), defined honour as having several senses, the first of which was "nobility of soul, magnanimity, and a scorn of meanness". This sort of honour derives from the perceived virtuous conduct and personal integrity of the person endowed with it. Johnson also defined honour in relationship to "reputation" and "fame"; to "privileges of rank or birth", and as "respect" of the kind which "places an individual socially and determines his right to precedence". This sort of honour is often not so much a function of moral or ethical excellence, as it is a consequence of power. Finally, with respect to sexuality, honour has traditionally been associated with (or identical to) "chastity" or "virginity", or in case of married men and women, "fidelity". Some have argued that honour should be seen more as a rhetoric, or set of possible actions, than as a code.