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honest definition


This page has 13 definitions of honest in English, Catalan, Valencian, and Middle English. Honest is an adjective, verb and adverb. Examples of how to use honest in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

English honest definition


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).



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.
  9. (obsolete) Chaste; faithful; virtuous.



Derived terms



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.


Further reading


Catalan honest definition


From Latin honestus.


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

  1. upright, decent, honorable

Derived terms

Related terms

Further reading

Middle English honest definition



  1. Alternative form of honeste (good)
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Chaucer to this entry?)