To mention something is to bring it up. If your mother embarrasses you by constantly mentioning your stuffed animal that you've been sleeping with for the past 15 years, you might mention it to her.

In the context of awards, an "honorable mention" is an official recognition but not a prize. If you enter a writing competition, the judges might not think your piece is the best, but they might mention, or briefly say, that it came very close to winning.

Definitions of mention

v make reference to

“His name was mentioned in connection with the invention”
advert, bring up, cite, name, refer
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commend, remember
mention as by way of greeting or to indicate friendship
speak of the devil
mention someone's name who just then appears
mention favorably, as in prayer
cite, quote
refer to for illustration or proof
touch on
refer to or discuss briefly
appeal, invoke
cite as an authority; resort to
refer to people that one assumes one's interlocutors admire in order to try to impress them
bring up, raise
put forward for consideration or discussion
drag up, dredge up
mention something unpleasant from the past
refer from one entry to another, as in catalogues, books, and lists
Type of:
have in mind, mean, think of
intend to refer to

v make mention of

note, observe, remark
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comment, notice, point out, remark
make or write a comment on
criticise, criticize, knock, pick apart
find fault with; express criticism of; point out real or perceived flaws
make a comment, usually ironic
kibbitz, kibitz
make unwanted and intrusive comments
Type of:
say, state, tell
express in words

v commend

Type of:
acknowledge, notice
express recognition of the presence or existence of, or acquaintance with

n a remark that calls attention to something or someone

“she made frequent mention of her promotion”
“there was no mention of it”
passing reference or indirect mention
reference to things past
the practice of casually mentioning important people in order to impress your listener
Type of:
comment, input, remark
a statement that expresses a personal opinion or belief or adds information

n a short note recognizing a source of information or of a quoted passage

“the article includes mention of similar clinical cases”
acknowledgment, citation, cite, credit, quotation, reference
photo credit
a note acknowledging the source of a published photograph
cross-index, cross-reference
a reference at one place in a work to information at another place in the same work
Type of:
annotation, notation, note
a comment or instruction (usually added)

n an official recognition of merit

“although he didn't win the prize he did get special mention
honorable mention
Type of:
accolade, award, honor, honour, laurels
a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction

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