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 Don’t reserve honesty to your self-reflection periods. John O'grady, Forbes, "How To Work On Yourself As A Leader To Build A Culturally Flat Organization," 15 Apr. 2021 This actual emotional honesty proves to be an aphrodisiac for Marie-Andrée, because the two rip each other's clothes off and bang. Jean Bentley, refinery29.com, "R29 Recaps: Every Episode From Netflix’s The Serpent," 6 Apr. 2021 Jody will stop the Fraud and get honesty into our Elections! Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Georgia GOP lawmaker announces bid challenging Brad Raffensperger for secretary of state," 22 Mar. 2021 With unflinching honesty, self-examination, regret, fear, exuberance and an unshakable belief in family and the transformative nature of music, singer-songwriter David Crosby shares his often challenging journey. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘The Searchers’; ‘Forrest Gump’," 12 Mar. 2021 With powerful honesty, Gilbert explains the difficulty of becoming a new parent when your support systems are locked down. Carolyn Wells, Longreads, "The Struggle of Having a Pandemic Baby," 16 Mar. 2021 Melancholia is both beautiful and disconcerting to watch, with a rare honesty about what those apocalypses — both personal and planet-wide — would actually look and feel like. Alison Willmore, Vulture, "The 101 Greatest Endings in Movies History," 22 Feb. 2021 At the same time, the movie dramatizes the emotional fractures of being strangers in a strange land with an honesty that feels like a balm. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Minari’ shows the bruises, the bounties of American life," 9 Feb. 2021 Every moment of humor is met with intense honesty, coalescing into a fierce and funny portrait of contemporary Black womanhood. Annabel Gutterman, Time, "11 Audiobooks to Lighten the Mood This Dreary Winter," 15 Jan. 2021

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

27 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Honesty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honesty. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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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 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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