What is the word used to describe a job given to a person just to give him/her the status of being in employment? The role does not effectively fulfil a purpose other than status and prestige. I read this word in an article months ago and have not been able to find it. I am referring to an adjective, not nepotism or tokenism, and the concept is more general.

Example sentence:

Jim has a |word| job, it was given to him just to give him status and prestige.

3 Answers 3


A Sinecure is a "cushy" job that is usually given as a reward. It literally means "without care" and is a job without the cares of actual results. It is typically given for reasons of status, prestige, or patronage.

As an adjective, the word "titular" would be sufficient, implying that the job is one in title only. E.g. The titular Crown Steward and Baliff of the Chiltern Hundreds did such and such.

  • Definitely a good noun for the context. An adjective usage in the same general area might be a titular role. Commented May 22, 2014 at 17:49
  • Do you mind if I incorporate that? Commented May 22, 2014 at 17:51
  • Fill your boots! :) Commented May 22, 2014 at 17:52
  • @AffableGeek the significance of the 'Chiltern Hundreds' is that it is 'a paid office under the Crown'. The only way to resign as a Member of Parliament is to accept such a Crown office, which automatically disqualifies you from parliament.
    – WS2
    Commented May 22, 2014 at 20:57

Is honorary the adjective you're looking for?

honorary: the definition of honorary refers to some distinction, status or award without the person bestowed with the honor being made to fulfill the usual requirements, or a person who has been bestowed with such an honor, or a person holding a position without being paid for it.


Where the job essentially exists in name only, it can be termed a no-show job:

of, relating to, or being a job for which the holder is paid but performs few duties or is rarely present for work

Other possibilities are an emeritus position:

one retired from professional life but permitted to retain as an honorary title the rank of the last office held

or a figurehead role:

a person who is called the head or chief of something but who has no real power

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