View synonyms for honest


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  1. truthful; ethical; fair; not lying or cheating:

    She's an honest person.

    Synonyms: scrupulous, principled, moral, incorruptible, good, ethical, conscientious, veracious, truthful, trustworthy, just, honorable, fair

    Antonyms: unconscionable, immoral, dishonest, corrupt, untruthful, mendacious, lying, dishonorable, unscrupulous, unprincipled, unethical

  2. showing uprightness and fairness; not deceitful:

    Honest dealings remain central to the corporation's core values.

    Synonyms: upright

  3. gained or obtained fairly:

    honest wealth.

  4. He has an honest face.

    Give me your honest opinion.

    Synonyms: unaffected, sincere, simple, natural, ingenuous, guileless, genuine, artless, up-front, unreserved, unguarded, straightforward, straight, plain-spoken, plain, outspoken, out-front, open-hearted, open, free-hearted, free-spoken, frank, foursquare, forthright, forthcoming, direct, candid, aboveboard

    Antonyms: phony, insincere, guileful, disingenuous, artificial, artful, affected

  5. genuine or unadulterated:

    honest commodities.

    Synonyms: unadulterated, pure, true, sure-enough, real, genuine, echt, bona fide, authentic, actual

    Antonyms: sham, pseudo, phony, mock, fake, bogus

  6. respectable; having a good reputation:

    an honest name.

    Synonyms: reputable, estimable

    Antonyms: disreputable

  7. reliable in accuracy or truth; true; just:

    honest weights.

    Synonyms: reliable, precise, faithful, exact, accurate, trusty

    Antonyms: unreliable

  8. humble, plain, or unadorned.
  9. Archaic. chaste; virtuous.


/ ˈɒnɪst /


  1. not given to lying, cheating, stealing, etc; trustworthy
  2. not false or misleading; genuine
  3. just or fair

    honest wages

  4. characterized by sincerity and candour

    an honest appraisal

  5. without pretensions or artificial traits

    honest farmers

  6. archaic.
    (of a woman) respectable
  7. honest broker
    a mediator in disputes, esp international ones
  8. honest Injun slang:school.
    interjection genuinely, really
  9. honest to God or honest to goodness
    1. adjective completely authentic
    2. interjection an expression of affirmation or surprise
  10. make an honest woman of
    to marry (a woman, esp one who is pregnant) to prevent scandal

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Derived Forms

  • ˈhonestness, noun
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Other Words From

  • hon·est·ness noun
  • o·ver·hon·est adjective
  • o·ver·hon·est·ly adverb
  • o·ver·hon·est·ness noun
  • qua·si-hon·est adjective
  • qua·si-hon·est·ly adverb
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Word History and Origins

Origin of honest1

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English honeste, from Middle French, from Latin honestus “honorable,” equivalent to hones- (variant stem of honōs ) honor + -tus adjective suffix
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Word History and Origins

Origin of honest1

C13: from Old French honeste, from Latin honestus distinguished, from honōs honour
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Idioms and Phrases

  • come by (honestly)
  • open (honest) and aboveboard
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Example Sentences

Well, that’s the contract we have with each other, that people will be honest with you.

From Vox

Really, if I’m really honest with you, the main reason I didn’t want the job, the main reason I tried to quit, is because the pressure was super, super intense.

From Ozy

When I hear you say that, if I’m 100% honest, that sounds like talking points.

From Ozy

New personalities entering the crypto world—from Paul Tudor Jones to William Shatner to Olympian Christie Rampone—are helping initiate an honest conversation about whether our financial systems are helping or hurting us all.

From Fortune

Because it’s time for the brands to build honest and transparent relationships with consumers, which is going to lead to stronger trust in advertising.

What matters is being honest, humble, and a faithful and loyal friend, father and member of your community.

The Times of Israel even applauded Netanyahu for finally being honest about his views on the issue of Palestine.

To be honest, I think a lot of good essay writing comes out of that.

There is a brutally honest section of the book about how you fell out of love with your wife, and essentially chose soccer.

So I’m sitting with my daughter and all of her friends—who are 13—and she says ‘Dad, can I be honest with you?

With childlike confidence he follows the advice of some more or less honest dealer.

Sometimes necessity makes an honest man a knave: and a rich man a honest man, because he has no occasion to be a knave.

They will reach you by the hands of Mr. Mackenzie, a worldly-minded Scotch merchant, but honest as to earthly things.

If they are still Moderns and alive, I defy you to bury them if you are discussing living questions in a full and honest way.

A world that has known five years of fighting has lost its taste for the honest drudgery of work.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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