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 Franco likes Garcia’s honesty and ability to keep him calm in the ring. John Whisler, ExpressNews.com, "‘The Professor’ gets high marks as student of boxing," 3 July 2020 Reiner’s own life recurs through his work, grounding it in honesty. Los Angeles Times, "Appreciation: Carl Reiner started out a sidekick. His genius made him ‘a very familiar stranger’," 30 June 2020 Examples include generosity, compassion, honesty, solidarity, fortitude, justice and patience. Mary Elizabeth Collins, The Conversation, "3 moral virtues necessary for an ethical pandemic response and reopening," 26 June 2020 Hicks, who died at 32 of pancreatic cancer in 1994, had been a savage critic of Bush's father, among many other things, and his ferocious honesty felt restorative at a time of flimsy, lethal lies. Jacob Lambert, TheWeek, "Jon Stewart's disappointing return," 26 June 2020 There was a refreshing honesty in that statement, admitting that this is daunting. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "Sheila Ford Hamp shouldn't get a honeymoon as new Detroit Lions owner," 24 June 2020 Obtaining accurate data on the number of infections could pose a problem, as the numbers are dependent on the honesty and testing efforts in each country. Greg Palkot, Fox News, "EU considers barring US travelers as it reopens, citing coronavirus response, sources say," 23 June 2020 There are many characteristics associated with autism that are also characteristics of a good spouse: honesty, loyalty and an ethical worldview. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Is there a volume control for sneezes?," 20 June 2020 The long-term legacy of this case may be that the Supreme Court led by John Roberts has now become an arbiter of public honesty. Morgan Marietta, The Conversation, "Supreme Court ruling on Dreamers sends a clear message to the White House: You have to tell the truth," 18 June 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

7 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Honesty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honesty. Accessed 11 Jul. 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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