pro·​bi·​ty | \ ˈprō-bə-tē How to pronounce probity (audio) \

Definition of probity

: adherence to the highest principles and ideals : uprightness

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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.

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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.

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 The accusations were especially damaging for François Fillon, a stern fiscal and social conservative who ran on an image of probity and austerity, calling for economic sacrifices and vowing to slash thousands of civil service jobs. Aurelien Breeden,, "François Fillon, ex-presidential hopeful in France, is convicted of embezzlement," 29 June 2020 With fiscal probity seen as a mark of German political virility, and a brake on debt even written into the constitution, only a full-blown economic crisis is likely to shift the view in Berlin toward a major stimulus. Birgit Jennen,, "Germany Won’t Blink on Fiscal Easing Until Crisis Hits Home," 5 May 2020 The White House could still try to solve this problem by implementing more rhetorical discipline, prioritizing pro-worker policies, and showing more administrative probity. Fred Bauer, National Review, "The Lessons American Conservatives Can Learn from the Tories’ Victory," 13 Dec. 2019 But this worldwide trivial pursuit doesn’t disprove Godard’s suspicion that Hollywood insensitivity and greed would offend probity and stifle popular imagination. Armond White, National Review, "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," 20 Dec. 2019 Like Newsom himself, the LAO is striking a note of fiscal probity. The Editorial Board, Orange County Register, "Surplus or not, Newsom and the Legislature must show restraint," 2 Dec. 2019 John Durham, the chief federal prosecutor in Connecticut—is respected across the political spectrum for his apolitical thoroughness as well as his probity. The Economist, "The Justice Department opens a criminal investigation into itself," 31 Oct. 2019 But Burns’s progressive sanctimony shifts from the dread and fatigue Jones feels in his lead-walled skiff to Feinstein’s supposed probity in her sunlit office with an ethnically diverse staff. Armond White, National Review, "The Report’s Enhanced Cynicism Techniques," 20 Nov. 2019 Two long unwon wars destroyed the GOP’s reputation for sobriety in foreign affairs, and the 2008 crash cratered its reputation for economic probity. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "Republicans Need to Save Capitalism," 14 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'probity.' 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 probity

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for probity

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

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Time Traveler for probity

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

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Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Probity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce probity (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of probity

formal : the quality of a person who is completely honest

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More from Merriam-Webster on probity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for probity

Spanish Central: Translation of probity

Nglish: Translation of probity for Spanish Speakers

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