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

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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

In a 2016 interview with Bon Appétit, Bourdain shared some travel tips, tinged with his signature attitude and unrestrained honesty. Bon Appétit, Bon Appetit, "Anthony Bourdain Is Dead at 61," 8 June 2018 The culture that HED Cycle creates at its offices is one that echoes what Hed said are the company's core values: honesty, excellence, dependability, passion and innovation. Anna Haecherl, USA TODAY, "After nearly 35 years, HED Cycling continues to spin out innovation and growth," 18 June 2018 Or his peers, who preached complete abstinence, even from medication—and honesty, no secrets, as the only pathway to recovery? Katrine Jo Andersen, The New Republic, "Rejected by A.A.," 27 June 2018 They are also attracted by the fact that behind the innovation and entrepreneurship are rules of law that require honesty, fair play, and transparency. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Term Sheet -- Monday, June 18," 18 June 2018 On both sides of the Atlantic, governments are rising to higher standards of honesty, transparency, and accountability. The Christian Science Monitor, "Europe gets a grip on graft," 25 May 2018 One of the main messages was to show honesty, respect and responsibility towards others. Julie Gallant, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Students take initiative to perform "Stop Bullying" play," 25 May 2018 In the spirit of brutal honesty, Simpson’s play was an afterthought for most of the day at TPC Sawgrass. Daniel Rapaport, SI.com, "Webb Simpson Won the Players Championship, but Tiger Stole the Show at TPC Sawgrass," 13 May 2018 Jim Clapper is a man of integrity, honesty, ethics, & morality. Kaitlan Collins, CNN, "White House happily cites 'leakers and liars' Brennan and Clapper in support of Haspel," 2 May 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 1

History and Etymology for honesty

see honest entry 1

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Statistics for honesty

Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

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 clear from alleged fault or guilt

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