hon·​est·​ly | \ ˈä-nəst-lē How to pronounce honestly (audio) \

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

Feeling like this right about now: Then again, all three theories could be simultaneously correct ... who knows, honestly. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Here's What Franco Harris Might Have to Do With "This Is Us'," 26 Sep. 2018 On the impact the weather had on the game: The conditions weren’t bad, honestly. Jonathan Tannenwald, Philly.com, "Doug Pederson calls Eagles' win over 49ers 'pretty impressive'," 6 July 2018 Or should the goal be to achieve an aesthetic difference between an original and an expansion, honestly expressing the fact that they were built in different eras and, perhaps, with different technologies? Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "We're only stuck with the lousy Union Station design if we fail to rethink it. Let the debate begin.," 27 June 2018 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

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

1 Mar 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 How to pronounce honestly (audio) \

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

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