probity

noun

pro·​bi·​ty ˈprō-bə-tē How to pronounce probity (audio)
: adherence to the highest principles and ideals : uprightness

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Probity and its synonyms honesty, honor, and integrity all mean uprightness of character or action, with some slight differences in emphasis. Honesty implies a refusal to lie 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, which descends from Latin probus, meaning "honest," implies tried and proven honesty or integrity.

Choose the Right Synonym for probity

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 probity in a Sentence

a person of indisputable probity must head the disciplinary panel the defense attorney questioned the probity of the witness
Recent Examples on the Web Speaking to the Guardian, FitzGerald dismissed the notion that his father, who was widely known for his probity, would make a claim for payment. Abid Rahman, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 June 2024 Editors’ Picks Mixed Signals FIFA the institution, as well as Mr. Infantino personally, frequently invokes a powerful endorsement of its overhauls whenever questions about corporate probity are raised. Tariq Panja, New York Times, 15 May 2024 Politicians and lawyers are not always known for their probity, but journalists have fact-checkers. Yair Rosenberg, The Atlantic, 21 Jan. 2024 Ultimately, the Sokol episode left no permanent blemish on Buffett, whose reputation for probity is as stellar as his reputation for investing acumen. Robert Faturechi, Fortune, 9 Nov. 2023 Yes, a violent group with a history of terror tactics directed against Israelis, a long commitment to destroying the state of Israel (though not one of genocide against Jews or Israelis), but also a social movement of political Islam with a reputation in the Arab world for efficiency and probity. Sam Kiley, CNN, 14 Oct. 2023 Perhaps most significant—in the climactic moment of the initial draft, the narrator, in a flash of moral probity, chose not to throw the brick through this woman’s window. Cressida Leyshon, The New Yorker, 12 June 2023 His critics just go on endlessly, idly parroting one another, lacking either the initiative or the probity to investigate and establish whether the characterizations are accurate and fair. Matthew Scully, National Review, 16 May 2023 In 1992, United Way of America capitalized on Mr. Dam’s reputation for probity after the organization was shaken by revelations, in news reports and from an internal investigation, of expense account abuses that had subsidized the lifestyle of its longtime president, William Aramony. Sam Roberts, BostonGlobe.com, 14 June 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'probity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English probite, from Latin probitat-, probitas, from probus honest — more at prove

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of probity was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Probity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/probity. Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

probity

noun
pro·​bi·​ty ˈprō-bət-ē How to pronounce probity (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on probity

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