Honorarium Law and Legal Definition

An honorarium is money or other items of value given in gratitude for services rendered; for example, payments to ministers for presiding at weddings and funerals or to politicians for speaking at a group function. Honorarium are sometimes subject to scrutiny when they are suspected of being used to circumvent campaign financing, influence peddling and bribery laws relating to elected and other public officials.

Universities often pay honorariums as:

  • Payment for a special lecture or short series of lectures.
  • Payment for conducting a seminar or workshop of no more than a two-week duration.
  • Payment for a guest speaker at a commencement exercise or similar function.