From Middle English honest, honeste, from Old French honeste, from Latin honestus, from honor. For the verb, see Latin honestāre (to clothe or adorn with honour), and compare French honester. Displaced Old English ferht (honest).



honest (comparative honester or more honest, superlative honestest or most honest)

  1. (of a person or institution) Scrupulous with regard to telling the truth; not given to swindling, lying, or fraud; upright.
    We’re the most honest people you will ever come across.
    • c. 1680, William Temple, Of Popular Discontents
      A true and honest physician is excused for leaving his patient, when he finds the disease grown desperate
  2. (of a statement) True, especially as far as is known by the person making the statement; fair; unbiased.
    an honest account of events
    honest reporting
  3. In good faith; without malice.
    an honest mistake
  4. (of a measurement device) Accurate.
    an honest scale
  5. Authentic; full.
    an honest day’s work
  6. Earned or acquired in a fair manner.
    an honest dollar
  7. Open; frank.
    an honest countenance
  8. (obsolete) Decent; honourable; suitable; becoming.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Chaucer to this entry?)
  9. (obsolete) Chaste; faithful; virtuous.



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honest (third-person singular simple present honests, present participle honesting, simple past and past participle honested)

  1. (obsolete) To adorn or grace; to honour; to make becoming, appropriate, or honourable.


honest (comparative more honest, superlative most honest)

  1. (colloquial) Honestly; really.
    It wasn’t my fault, honest.

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From Latin honestus.


honest (feminine honesta, masculine plural honests or honestos, feminine plural honestes)

  1. upright, decent, honorable

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Related termsEdit

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