- The definition of emeritus is someone who once held a position or office and who, although not required, is allowed to keep his title.
An example of emeritus is a professor of mathematics who retired but who gets to keep his title as a professor. He would be called an Emeritus Professor.
Origin: Classical Latin past participle of emereri, to serve out one's time ; from e-, out plush mereri, to serve, earn, merit
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Origin: Latin ēmeritus, past participle of ēmerērī, to earn by service : ē-, ex-, from; see ex- + merērī, to deserve, earn; see (s)mer-2 in Indo-European roots.