hon·​est·​ly | \ ˈä-nəst-lē \

Definition of honestly

1 : in an honest manner: such as
a : without cheating counted the ballots honestly
b : really, genuinely was honestly scared
c : without frills food honestly prepared
2 : to be honest : to tell the truth honestly, I don't know

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Examples of honestly in a Sentence

Officials counted the votes honestly. The bank has always dealt honestly with me. I can honestly say that I have never seen that man before today. He spoke honestly about the mistakes he had made. She honestly believes that she has been mistreated.
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Recent Examples on the Web

And honestly, could Kensi (Daniela Ruah) and Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) be any cuter!? Megan Stein, Country Living, "The 'NCIS: Los Angeles' Team Is Getting a Surprise Visit From This Special Agent," 9 Dec. 2018 Some poured doubt on the report… …while others pointed out that, honestly, this is pretty much business as usual for the Trump Administration. Graeme Mcmillan, WIRED, "While You Were Offline: The Internet Has Some Feelings About Anthony Kennedy Retiring," 1 July 2018 And honestly, nothing was more satisfying than watching beautiful people in beautiful clothing pick out produce. refinery29.com, "Chanel Is Selling The Dream — & According To Their Numbers, We’re Buying It," 22 June 2018 Maisel shows, or dozens upon dozens of Netflix and Hulu series that disappear into the memory hole, or, honestly, lots and lots of shows on good old traditional television. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The 7 best TV shows of 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 He's later seen trekking through the woods at night, which honestly seems super dangerous. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "The "Riverdale" Mid-Season Finale Left Us Shook and With Multiple Questions," 13 Dec. 2018 The only character who appears in all three storylines is Hiram, whose villainous schedule honestly seems flat-out exhausting. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Betty's In Serious Trouble on This Week's Riverdale," 6 Dec. 2018 What this means, though, is that Microsoft has finally found an immediate, easily understandable, practical use for the HoloLens—which, honestly, has languished somewhat out of the public eye. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Dynamics 365 Remote Assist finally makes the HoloLens useful for anyone," 18 Sep. 2018 But Lisa Eldridge has come by her success on the video platform honestly. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "Makeup Star Lisa Eldridge Launches 3 Velvet Red Lipsticks—Just in Time for the Holidays," 14 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'honestly.' 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 honestly

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for honestly

Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for honestly

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

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More Definitions for honestly



English Language Learners Definition of honestly

: without cheating or lying : in an honest way

: in a genuine way : without pretending

—used to stress that a statement is true


hon·​est·​ly | \ ˈä-nəst-lē \

Kids Definition of honestly

1 : without cheating or lying : in an honest manner They made their money honestly.
2 : in a real and sincere way She was honestly scared.
3 used to stress the truth or sincerity of what is being said Honestly, I don't know how you do it.
4 used to show annoyance or disapproval Is that your excuse? Honestly!

More from Merriam-Webster on honestly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for honestly

Britannica English: Translation of honestly for Arabic Speakers

Comments on honestly

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


to gather or build up little by little

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