dis·​hon·​est | \ (ˌ)dis-ˈä-nəst How to pronounce dishonest (audio) also (ˌ)diz-\

Definition of dishonest

1 obsolete : shameful, unchaste
2 : characterized by lack of truth, honesty, or trustworthiness : unfair, deceptive

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from dishonest

dishonestly adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for dishonest


lying, mendacious, untruthful


honest, truthful, veracious

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for dishonest

dishonest, deceitful, mendacious, untruthful mean unworthy of trust or belief. dishonest implies a willful perversion of truth in order to deceive, cheat, or defraud. a swindle usually involves two dishonest people deceitful usually implies an intent to mislead and commonly suggests a false appearance or double-dealing. the secret affairs of a deceitful spouse mendacious may suggest bland or even harmlessly mischievous deceit and when used of people often suggests a habit of telling untruths. mendacious tales of adventure untruthful stresses a discrepancy between what is said and fact or reality. an untruthful account of their actions

Examples of dishonest in a Sentence

She gave dishonest answers to our questions. dishonest kids who lie about their ages in order to get into R-rated movies

Recent Examples on the Web

But corruption runs through the power structures, and three young Gelflings soon discover the wicked and dishonest means through which the Skeksis have come to rule. Time, "What to Know About The Dark Crystal Before Watching the Netflix Prequel," 29 Aug. 2019 To stuff it back into storage or make excuses for it is dishonest. Sue Mcmillin, The Denver Post, "McMillin: Stapleton will keep its tainted name, here’s how we can live with that decision," 27 Aug. 2019 Our heartless, politically ignorant and dishonest leader is condoning the ongoing practice of separating families and leaving 3- and 4-year-old babies in the care of older children because nobody else is doing it. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Physical and mental harm being done to the children," 27 June 2019 In truth, many Christians on the right are critical of Trump’s character, and excluding their voices to frame all people who support conservative policy as Machiavellian is incredibly dishonest. William Z. Nardi, National Review, "Netflix’s Docuseries The Family Doesn’t Expose Much," 3 Sep. 2019 Roberts conducted those investigations despite being added to a list kept by county officials to track dishonest law enforcement officers. Justin Price, azcentral, "Phoenix police routinely 'purges' officer discipline records, keeps misconduct secret," 23 Aug. 2019 Guard against financial abuse and fraud People with Alzheimer’s may be victims of financial abuse or scams by dishonest people., "Alzheimer's can lead to money management problems, abuse," 27 Apr. 2018 So that’s the first and most dishonest thing about this whole idea. Andrew Marino, The Verge, "Podcast: What’s wrong with Congress’ tech policy conversation?," 13 Aug. 2019 Dorsey called claims that the Port Covington project will benefit the entire city dishonest, despite its backers having agreed to a community benefits agreement with surrounding neighborhoods worth tens of millions of dollars. Christine Condon,, "Trump points to Opportunity Zones initiative to show how he’s helped cities like Baltimore. How has it worked?," 30 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dishonest.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of dishonest

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dishonest

Middle English, from Anglo-French deshoneste, from des- dis- + honeste honest

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dishonest

Statistics for dishonest

Last Updated

5 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dishonest

The first known use of dishonest was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dishonest



English Language Learners Definition of dishonest

: saying or likely to say things that are untrue
: containing information that is untrue
: used to deceive someone


dis·​hon·​est | \ dis-ˈä-nəst How to pronounce dishonest (audio) \

Kids Definition of dishonest

: not honest or trustworthy

Other Words from dishonest

dishonestly adverb

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on dishonest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dishonest

Spanish Central: Translation of dishonest

Nglish: Translation of dishonest for Spanish Speakers

Comments on dishonest

What made you want to look up dishonest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to fake an opponent out of position

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!