hon·​es·​ty ˈä-nə-stē How to pronounce honesty (audio)
plural honesties
: adherence to the facts : sincerity
doubted the honesty of the witness
: fairness and straightforwardness of conduct
calling for honesty in politics
: any of a genus (Lunaria) of European herbs of the mustard family with toothed leaves and flat disk-shaped siliques
obsolete : chastity
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.

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web That is not a disparagement of her book but rather a testament to its scope, accuracy and unflinching honesty. Melanie Mccabe, Washington Post, 8 Mar. 2023 On Twitter, fans praised Ortega’s honesty, with some crediting her for Wednesday’s success and cultural impact. Dani Di Placido, Forbes, 8 Mar. 2023 There are no heartening answers to these questions, and Dack’s rigorous, unsparing honesty is both a measure and perhaps a limitation of her movie’s power. Justin Changfilm Critic, Los Angeles Times, 3 Mar. 2023 The only way to stop them is through truth and honesty. Dallas News, 2 Mar. 2023 Take the focus off the lies, appreciate his honesty, look at the patterns and get busy creating solutions together. Meghan Leahy - Parenting Q&a, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Mar. 2023 Packed with tremendous humor, romance, and honesty, the show has attracted a devoted audience since premiering in late 2021. Cassandra Pintro, Vogue, 28 Feb. 2023 Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice, and spoke to PEOPLE about how her honesty helped her bond with her daughter Natalie. Diane J. Cho, Peoplemag, 24 Feb. 2023 As Razia navigates the whirl of growing up and coming out across cultures and communities, her first-person narrative vibrates with humor, heartache, pathos, and honesty. Erin Douglass, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 Feb. 2023 See More

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.

Word History


see honest entry 1

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of honesty was in the 14th century

Cite this Entry

“Honesty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honesty. Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


hon·​es·​ty ˈän-ə-stē How to pronounce honesty (audio)
: the quality or state of being honest

More from Merriam-Webster on honesty

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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