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 Hamon added that as a scientist and a mother, honesty has been the easiest way to deal with the children's constant questions. NBC News, "Paris slowly comes back to life after weeks of strict lockdown," 12 May 2020 That honesty is refreshing, as is the author’s variation on the theme of shipboard tyranny (the Caine is a U.S. minesweeper plying the Pacific during World War II). Washington Post, "Here are some of my favorite escapist novels. You may have other ideas. Share them with us.," 30 Apr. 2020 The goal of the policy is to foster a culture of honesty, integrity, and fair play in keeping with The Butler Way and to help protect Butler teams, student-athletes, and coaches from undue influence and improper conduct. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Butler's 'Sports Wagering Policy' takes Bulldogs off the board for students, faculty," 31 Jan. 2020 This everlasting compelling of honesty, morality, justice and the law to bend the knee to policy, is the rottenest thing in a republican form of government. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Mark Twain’s 1868 presidential impeachment takes read like today’s news," 25 Jan. 2020 With no more secrets, Joe and Love are able to approach their relationship from a place of openness and honesty, clearing the air for their burgeoning family and new home—a quaint little ranch-style home in Pasadena, probably. Jenna Adrian-diaz, Vogue, "11 of the Craziest Things That Happen in Season 2 of You," 27 Dec. 2019 This is the first step toward the doctor-patient relationship that will benefit you most: one grounded in honesty, trust, good communication, and mutual respect. Alyssa Jung, Woman's Day, "How to Take Control of Your Doctor Visit," 20 Nov. 2019 With rare culinary honesty, Yonan packs the recipes with references to other recipe writers, restaurants and columns that he’s cribbed from. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "Two new cookbooks on beans perfect for coronavirus shelter-in-place cooking," 17 Apr. 2020 The chutzpah is revealed on social media and in interviews, where Lewerke speaks with refreshing honesty. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Former Michigan State QB Brian Lewerke must show true talent to find NFL home," 29 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for honesty

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for honesty

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Honesty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honesty. Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for honesty


How to pronounce honesty (audio)

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

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