hon·es·ty | \ ˈä-nə-stē \
plural honesties

Definition of honesty 

1 obsolete : chastity

2a : fairness and straightforwardness of conduct calling for honesty in politics

b : adherence to the facts : sincerity doubted the honesty of the witness

3 : any of a genus (Lunaria) of European herbs of the mustard family with toothed leaves and flat disk-shaped siliques

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Honesty that asks no sacrifice lacks truth, honesty at someone else’s expense lacks virtue. Josie Duffy Rice, The Atlantic, "The Gospel According to Pusha T," 12 July 2018 Philipps has acquired her 1-million-and-growing Instagram followers through her self-deprecatory humor, raw honesty and vulnerability. Sonja Haller, USA TODAY, "Busy Philipps is famous for sharing everything. Except her anxiety.," 11 July 2018 Swayed by general manager Dayton Moore’s honesty and the familiarity fostered by area scout Jim Buckley, Singer and his family came to Kansas City to sign a contract with a bonus of $4.25 million. Maria Torres, kansascity, "'He is gonna be what people come to see': Royals sign, introduce top pick Brady Singer," 3 July 2018 In this climate, young pop fans crave authenticity and honesty. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "With spectacles at Summerfest, Halsey and Logic aspire for a better world," 30 June 2018 Also his resourcefulness, brutal honesty and enduring optimism. Bill Torpy, ajc, "Torpy at Large: The Tin Man meets The Spirit in the Sky," 19 June 2018 Over the years, the Krewella sound has incorporated everything from pop to dubstep to their Pakistani roots, all with a constant thread of disarming, heart-on-sleeve honesty. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "What’s in your bag, Krewella?," 15 June 2018 On Twitter, many more recalled Bourdain’s honesty, friendship and vibrancy. Sarah Fritsche, SFChronicle.com, "Anthony Bourdain remembered: Love, criticism and his thoughts on Bay Area food scene," 8 June 2018 But men, even the ones who know the value of honesty, tend to forget. Shelly Oria, Longreads, "How to Be Single," 2 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of honesty

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for honesty

see honest entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about honesty

Phrases Related to honesty

honesty is the best policy

in all honesty

Statistics for honesty

Last Updated

31 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for honesty

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!