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

The raw honesty of Gragossian’s blog has resonated, drawing more than 1,200 readers per month. Aneri Pattani, https://www.inquirer.com, "Organ transplant recipients balance guilt and gratitude: 'These were supposed to be her breaths’," 5 June 2019 The gateway to self-love is empathy, compassion, and unbridled honesty. Wade Davis, Good Housekeeping, "It's Time to Stop the Cycle of Shame, and Teach Boys How to Love Themselves," 30 Apr. 2019 Cardi never shies away from honesty in life, love, or politics, which is why people love her. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Cardi B Can't Stop Posting About Food, Especially Her "Best Ever" Barbecue Chips," 18 Apr. 2019 Selma Blair's honesty regarding her multiple sclerosis diagnosis has been nothing but enlightening. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Christian Siriano Just Responded to Selma Blair's Accessible Fashion Line Idea," 9 Mar. 2019 The honesty of her performance was breathtaking, as Jackie lied obsessively, and her rapport with the indelible Merritt Wever as Zoey was its centerpiece throughout. Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, "These are TV’s 10 best comic performances in the past 10 years," 26 Apr. 2018 In all honesty, Meghan needn’t have lifted a finger to leave so many impressed this year. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle in 2018: Why the Duchess of Success Is Just Getting Started," 31 Dec. 2018 That kind of honesty is important because, as Frankie goes on to point out in his Instagram post, substance use disorder is a disease, not a personal or moral failure. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Frankie Grande Posted a Tribute to Mac Miller and Sobriety on Instagram," 12 Sep. 2018 In all honesty, though, this challenge seems extremely difficult. Luis Miguel Echegaray, SI.com, "Talkin' Top Chef, Episode Five: A Snow-Filled Challenge With Camping...And Cake!," 4 Jan. 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 3

History and Etymology for honesty

see honest entry 1

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Statistics for honesty

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

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 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

What made you want to look up honesty? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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