From Middle English honest, honeste (“honourable, appropriate, excellent”), 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 native Old English sōþfæst (literally “truth-firm”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɒnɪst/
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈɑnɪst/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɒnɪst, -ɔːnɪst, -ɑnɪst
- (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
- (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
- In good faith; without malice.
- an honest mistake
- (of a measurement device) Accurate.
- an honest scale
- Authentic; full.
- an honest day’s work
- Earned or acquired in a fair manner.
- an honest dollar
- Open; frank.
- an honest countenance
- (obsolete) Decent; honourable; suitable; becoming.
- 1624, William Simons, “The Gouernment Returned againe to Sir Thomas Gates, 1611”, in John Smith, The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: […], London: […] I[ohn] D[awson] and I[ohn] H[aviland] for Michael Sparkes, OCLC 1049014009, book 4; reprinted in The Generall Historie of Virginia, [...] (Bibliotheca Americana), Cleveland, Oh.: The World Publishing Company, 1966, OCLC 633956660, page 111:
- […] Vpon the verge of the Riuer there are fiue houſes, wherein liue the honeſter ſort of people, as Farmers in England, and they keepe continuall centinell for the townes ſecuritie.
- 1692, Roger L’Estrange, “[The Fables of Æsop, &c.] Fab[le] CLV. A Shepherd and a Wolves Whelp [Reflexion].”, in Fables, of Æsop and Other Eminent Mythologists: […], London: […] R[ichard] Sare, […], OCLC 228727523, page 6:
- [T]here are Wolf-Whelps in Palaces, and Governments, as well as in Cottages, and Foreſts. […] They go out however, as there is Occaſion, and Hunt and Growle for Company; but at the ſame time, they give the Sign out of their Maſters hand, hold Intelligence with the Enemy; and Make uſe of their Power and Credit to Worry Honeſter Men them Themſelves.
- (obsolete) Chaste; faithful; virtuous.
- See also Thesaurus:honest
- (obsolete) To adorn or grace; to honour; to make becoming, appropriate, or honourable.
- 1609 December (first performance), Benjamin Jonson [i.e., Ben Jonson], “Epicoene, or The Silent Woman. A Comœdie. […]”, in The Workes of Ben Jonson (First Folio), London: […] Will[iam] Stansby, published 1616, OCLC 960101342, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
- You have very much honested my lodging with your presence.
- (colloquial) Honestly; really.
- It wasn’t my fault, honest.
- honest in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- honest in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911
- “honest” in Diccionari de la llengua catalana, segona edició, Institut d’Estudis Catalans.
- “honest”, in Gran Diccionari de la Llengua Catalana, Grup Enciclopèdia Catalana, 2022
- “honest” in Diccionari normatiu valencià, Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua.
- “honest” in Diccionari català-valencià-balear, Antoni Maria Alcover and Francesc de Borja Moll, 1962.
- Alternative form of
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Chaucer to this entry?)