in an honest manner.
with honesty.


(used to express mild exasperation, disbelief, dismay, etc.): Honestly! I want to finish this work and you keep interrupting.

Origin of honestly

1300–50; Middle English. See honest, -ly
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for honestly

Contemporary Examples of honestly

Historical Examples of honestly

  • Say, honestly, I didn't know my own name till I had a chanst to look me over.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Honestly, I am glad to find you here at your work in your miner's clothes.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Honestly, now, I feel as if I was beginning life over again.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • All I intended by the first, I believe, I honestly told you at the time.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • In the meantime I say God-speed to every man who honestly teaches what he honestly believes.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for honestly



in an honest manner
(intensifier)I honestly don't believe it


an expression of disgust, surprise, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for honestly

mid-14c., from honest + -ly (2). As an intensifier or exclamation, from 1898.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper