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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.



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.
    • (Can we date this quote by Sir W. Temple and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      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.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Chaucer to this entry?)
  9. (obsolete) Chaste; faithful; virtuous.



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?)
    • (Can we date this quote by Ben Jonson and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      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.

Further reading[edit]




From Latin honestus.


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

  1. upright, decent, honorable

Derived terms[edit]

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Further reading[edit]