Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


the seed pods of honesty
English Wikipedia has an article on:
English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikispecies has information on:


Commons has related media at:


From Middle English honeste (honour, integrity), from Old French honesté (compare modern French honnêteté) (honest +‎ -y); the plant, from the visibility of the seeds through the translucent pods. Displaced native Old English sōþfæstnes.



honesty (countable and uncountable, plural honesties)

  1. (uncountable, countable) The act, quality, or condition of being honest.
    academic / artistic / emotional / intellectual honesty
    brutal / devastating / searing honesty
    • c. 1591–1595, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Romeo and Ivliet”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene ii]:
      There’s no trust,
      No faith, no honesty in men; all perjured,
      All forsworn, all naught, all dissemblers.
    • 1787, George Colman, Junior, Inkle and Yarico, London: G.G.J. & J. Robinson, Act 2, p. 45,[1]
      O give me your plain dealing Fellows
      Who never from honesty shrink;
      Not thinking on all they shou’d tell us,
      But telling us all that they think.
    • 1965, George Steiner, “Dying is an Art” in Language and Silence: Essays on Language, Literature and the Inhuman, New York: Atheneum, 1986, p. 295,
      To those who knew her and to the greatly enlarged circle who were electrified by her last poems and sudden death, she had come to signify the specific honesties and risks of the poet’s condition.
  2. (uncountable, countable, obsolete) Honor; decency, propriety.
  3. (uncountable, countable, obsolete) Chastity.
  4. (countable) Any of various crucifers in the genus Lunaria, several of which are grown as ornamentals, particularly Lunaria annua.


Derived terms[edit]



  • honesty in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.

Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of honeste (honour)