The term "numerary" and its counterpart, "supernumerary," originated in Spanish and Latin American academy and government; it is now also used in countries all over the world, such as France, the U.S., England, Italy, etc.
There are numerary members of surgical organizations, of universities, of gastronomical associations, etc.
In medical societies, numerary doctors are those who:
In a graphology society (handwriting analysts), here are the rights of numerary members:
In the personal prelature of Opus Dei, numeraries are lay people who are available for any apostolic work undertaken by the prelature. Like any other member of Opus Dei, numeraries have the same vocation to sanctify themselves in the middle of the world. Most work in normal, secular jobs (bankers, professors, doctors, lawyers, accountants, businessmen). A few numeraries work full-time or part-time in the work of formation of the prelature. Numerary members of Opus Dei are required to be celibate but are neither monks nor friars (see also clerical celibacy). A number of them work as faculty at Opus Dei sponsored schools.
Harvard professor Rafael Moneo, a multi-awarded architect, became Academic Numerary in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid in May 1997.
Ángel Martin Municio, who was Vice-Rector for Investigation and International Relations of the Universidad Complutense(1982-1986), President of the of Real Academia de Ciencias de España and since 1985 up to the present, President of the Real Academia Española is an Academic Numerary of the Academy since 1969. He was also the Vice-president of the European Academy of Science and Arts (1998)
Cardinal Rodolfo Quezada Toruño of Guatemala is Academic numerary of the Academy of Geography and History of Guatemala starting 1967.
Carlos Pazos Beceiro, born in Havana, Cuba, Recipient of the Albert Schweitzer Peace Award, Vice-President of IPPNW for Latin America, is a Numerary Member of the Cuban Society of Hygiene and Epidemiology.
Antonio Garrido, Director of Instituto Cervantes of New York, is Academic Numerary of the Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española, the corresponding academy to the Real Academia Española.
Pedro Laín Entralgo is an outstanding Spanish medical researcher and humanist of the 20th century. He won the Prince of Asturias award in 1989 for Communication and Humanities. He has been a numerary member of the Royal National Academy of Medicine since 1946.