hon·​es·​ty | \ ˈä-nə-stē \
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

But, in all honesty, the floral arch, sea views and dramatic layered fabrics were kind of distracting. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Beyoncé Shares Photo of Rumi and Sir Carter, a Year After Their Birth," 26 July 2018 Trump's honesty is sure to send a chill down the spines of Republican strategists tasked with trying to hold onto the GOP's 23-seat majority come this fall. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Donald Trump just said something that will terrify congressional Republicans," 23 May 2018 Former Chandler boys track coach Stephen Carson said Carlson's honesty and wit was infectious. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Arizona Coaches Association Hall of Fame wrestling coach John Carlson dies," 13 May 2018 A quarter century since Pavement's iconic record Slanted and Enchanted, Stephen Malkmus is still making music that matters—and his excellent (and very wry) new album Sparkle Hard proves that brutal honesty is the secret to a long songwriting career. James Yeh, GQ, "Stephen Malkmus, the Dad of Indie Rock," 9 May 2018 The honesty and intimacy that anonymity allows is life-changing, says Redditor Alysurr, a 21-year-old from Florida. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "The Women Keeping Reddit's Beauty Community a Judgement-Free Space," 24 Apr. 2018 Emotional, as well as factual, honesty is the sine qua non of a memoir. Melanie Thernstrom, New York Times, "Can Sobriety Be as Interesting as Addiction? A Writer Wonders," 17 Apr. 2018 USA Gymnastics, where is the honesty, where is the transparency? Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Aly Raisman Said "Talk Is Worthless" When it Comes to USA Gymnastics Leadership," 19 Jan. 2018 The struggle for assuring integrity and honesty in government is being played out all over again. Ken Starr, WSJ, "The Impeached President," 31 Aug. 2018

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

2 Feb 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 \

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).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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