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

For many Pakistanis, his reputation for personal probity sets him apart from his money-grubbing peers. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "Will Imran Khan Turn Pakistan Into an Islamic Welfare State?," 12 July 2018 The sudden emergence of an aggressive anticorruption agency is unhelpful to her pitch, which is aimed at such countries as China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, not exactly models of financial probity. Suzi Ring,, "Britain’s White-Collar Cops Are Getting Too Good at Their Job," 1 Mar. 2018 Some try to project themselves as energetic and compassionate, others as wise and possessed of probity. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "The Trump Show," 31 Jan. 2018 The idea has support that extends well beyond those fixated on fiscal probity. The Economist, "Yes we con-conAmerica might see a new constitutional convention in a few years," 30 Sep. 2017 The prime minister has armed India’s tax inspectors—not exactly famous for their probity—with draconian powers of search and seizure, and sharply curbed citizens’ ability to appeal against arbitrary decisions. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "A Reform Win for Modi," 2 July 2017 After suffering a historic default, Argentina may end up being a model of financial probity. The Christian Science Monitor, "After a historic default, Argentina is a far cry from its past," 25 Oct. 2017 There are no longer any unifying national figures whose probity and rectitude could be held up as symbols of hope and civic instruction. Michael Auslin, National Review, "The Last Great American Western Turns 25," 3 Aug. 2017 The prosecutors’ statement said police will investigate whether there are grounds to suspect Ferrand for property crimes, lack of probity and violating insurance codes. The Associated Press, The Seattle Times, "Probe turns up heat on Macron’s squeaky-clean pledges," 1 June 2017

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

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

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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

Comments on probity

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


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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