adjective hon·est \ˈä-nəst\

Definition of honest

  1. 1a :  free from fraud or deception :  legitimate, truthful an honest plea an honest presentation of factsb :  genuine, real making honest stops at stop signs — Christian Science Monitorc :  humble, plain good honest food

  2. 2a :  reputable, respectable honest decent peopleb chiefly British :  good, worthy an honest fellow

  3. 3 :  worthy of praise an honest day's work put forth an honest effort

  4. 4a :  marked by integrity honest merchantsb :  marked by free, forthright, and sincere expression :  frank an honest appraisal an honest discussionc :  direct and uncomplicated :  innocent, simple some good honest sleep

Examples of honest in a sentence

  1. He says that it's impossible to find an honest politician.

  2. These criminals pose a danger to honest citizens.

  3. He has an honest face.

  4. Just give me an honest answer.

  5. If you want my honest opinion, you should get a job.

  6. To be perfectly honest, I don't want to go.

  7. He gave us a painfully honest account of his childhood.

  8. It was an honest error.

  9. He still goes to the office every morning and puts in an honest day's work.

Origin and Etymology of honest

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin honestus honorable, from honos, honor honor

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of honest

upright, honest, just, conscientious, scrupulous, honorable mean having or showing a strict regard for what is morally right. upright implies a strict adherence to moral principles. a stern and upright minister honest stresses adherence to such virtues as truthfulness, candor, or fairness. known for being honest in business dealings just stresses conscious choice and regular practice of what is right or equitable. workers given just compensation conscientious and scrupulous imply an active moral sense governing all one's actions and painstaking efforts to follow one's conscience. conscientious in the completion of her assignments scrupulous in carrying out the terms of the will honorable suggests a firm holding to codes of right behavior and the guidance of a high sense of honor and duty. a difficult but honorable decision



adverb hon·est

Definition of honest

  1. 1 :  in a genuine or honest (see 1honest) manner :  honestly I have ever found thee honest true — William Shakespeare

  2. 2 :  with all sincerity I didn't do it, honest

Origin and Etymology of honest

see 1honest

First Known Use: 1654

HONEST Defined for English Language Learners



adjective hon·est \ˈä-nəst\

Definition of honest for English Language Learners

  • : good and truthful : not lying, stealing, or cheating

  • : showing or suggesting a good and truthful character

  • : not hiding the truth about someone or something : not meant to deceive someone

HONEST Defined for Kids


adjective hon·est \ˈä-nəst\

Definition of honest for Students

  1. 1 :  not engaging in or involving cheating, stealing, or lying an honest citizen an honest living

  2. 2 :  not marked by lies or trickery :  straightforward an honest answer

  3. 3 :  being just what is indicated :  real, genuine He did an honest day's work.

Seen and Heard

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


to criticize severely

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