hon·​es·​ty | \ ˈä-nə-stē How to pronounce honesty (audio) \
plural honesties

Definition of honesty

1a : adherence to the facts : sincerity doubted the honesty of the witness
b : fairness and straightforwardness of conduct calling for honesty in politics
2 : any of a genus (Lunaria) of European herbs of the mustard family with toothed leaves and flat disk-shaped siliques
3 obsolete : chastity

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Choose the Right Synonym for honesty

honesty, honor, integrity, probity mean uprightness of character or action. honesty implies a refusal to lie, steal, or deceive in any way. honor suggests an active or anxious regard for the standards of one's profession, calling, or position. integrity implies trustworthiness and incorruptibility to a degree that one is incapable of being false to a trust, responsibility, or pledge. probity implies tried and proven honesty or integrity.

Examples of honesty in a Sentence

She is admired for her kindness and her honesty. He demands honesty from everyone who works for him. He didn't even have enough honesty to tell me he was leaving.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Caption with honesty Be transparent about how a photograph was made. National Geographic, "Is the food appropriate and safely provided?," 31 July 2019 As a user enterprise, NIO takes quality concerns seriously and will always act with honesty and transparency. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "NIO recalls nearly 5,000 electric SUVs after battery fires in China," 27 June 2019 While rates of honesty varied greatly between different places (Scandinavia most honest, Asia and Africa least), the difference within individual countries between the two return rates was quite stable around that figure of 11 percentage points. The Economist, "People are more honest than they think they are," 22 June 2019 Co-written by Magali Pouzol, this French-language film holds its own with those because of the honesty of its presentation and those spectacular visuals. Kenneth Turan, chicagotribune.com, "‘Funan’ movie review: A family seeks to reunite amid terror of the Khmer Rouge in beautifully animated film," 27 June 2019 And though the show is in some senses even sillier than its inspiration, the honesty of a story about seven aging C-list celebrities cashing in on nostalgia is unexpectedly endearing. Judy Berman, Time, "The 90210 Revival Is Weird as Hell—But At Least It's Not Boring," 6 Aug. 2019 The first is his honesty, which is sometimes brutal. Los Angeles Times, "Escapes: Scotland’s unexpectedly great food is a fare to remember," 25 July 2019 But in all honesty, my preference for S over B really comes down to a purely superficial reason: her hair. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "The Beachwaver Basically Curls Your Hair for You—and It's on Sale," 24 July 2019 But what’s perhaps most impressive is the honesty of the letter. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Life advice from US Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch," 21 July 2019

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

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First Known Use of honesty

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for honesty

see honest entry 1

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Statistics for honesty

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for honesty

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

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More Definitions for honesty



English Language Learners Definition of honesty

: the quality of being fair and truthful : the quality of being honest


hon·​es·​ty | \ ˈä-nə-stē How to pronounce honesty (audio) \

Kids Definition of honesty

: the quality or state of being truthful and fair

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Comments on honesty

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


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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