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From Old French honeste, from Latin honestus, from honor. For the verb, see Latin honestare to clothe or adorn with honour, and compare French honester.



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.
    • Sir W. Temple
      An honest physician leaves his patient when he can contribute no farther to his health.
  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.
    • Shakespeare
      Behold what honest clothes you send forth to bleaching!
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Chaucer to this entry?)
  9. (obsolete) Chaste; faithful; virtuous.
    • Shakespeare
      Wives may be merry, and yet honest too.



Derived terms[edit]



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.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Archbishop Sandys to this entry?)
    • Ben Jonson
      You have very much honested my lodging with your presence.


honest ‎(comparative more honest, superlative most honest)

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

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