- 1Free of deceit; truthful and sincere: I haven’t been totally honest with youMore example sentences
truthful, sincere, candid, frank, direct, open, forthright, straight, straightforward, genuine, blunt, plain-spoken, plain-speaking, matter-of-fact, outspoken, as straight as a die, straight from the shoulder• informal upfront• archaic free-spokenobjective, impartial, unbiased, balanced, unprejudiced, disinterested, even-handed, fair, just, equitable
- For a transaction of this magnitude to be successful, all parties involved must be honest, sincere and truthful to one another.
- As a Republican, I sincerely thank you for your honest, open, sincere and thoughtful dialogue.
- Remember, your compliments must be honest, sincere and genuine.
- 1.1Morally correct or virtuous: I did the only right and honest thingMore example sentences
morally correct, upright, honourable, moral, ethical, principled, righteous, right-minded, respectable; virtuous, good, worthy, decent, law-abiding, high-minded, upstanding, just, fair, incorruptible, anti-corruption, truthful, true, veracious, trustworthy, trusty, reliable, conscientious, scrupulous, reputable, dependable, loyal, faithful• informal on the level, honest-to-goodness
- ‘From the beginning we have been asking for fair and honest elections,’ he said.
- All but four members of the commission said that the last election was fair and honest.
- I believe that only a truly even-handed approach can lead to an honest, morally convincing, and effective human rights policy.
- 1.2 [attributive] Fairly earned, especially through hard work: he’s struggling to make an honest livingMore example sentences
- These are innocent people just trying to earn an honest living, but who end up the real victims.
- Workers, often women, take risks to earn an honest living.
- And the woman draws herself up and delivers a stirring dialogue on her right to stay there and earn an honest living.
- 1.3(Of an action) done with good intentions even if unsuccessful or misguided: he’d made an honest mistakeMore example sentences
- Bob's position was an honest attempt to achieve something real.
- The forums were honest, objective attempts to address the facts, and they have succeeded beyond our expectations.
- I think it was an honest and reasonable mistake for them to make at the time.
- 1.4 [attributive] Simple, unpretentious, and unsophisticated: good honest food with no gimmicksMore example sentences
- It is an honest, simple pie, and we extol its simplicities.
- It is a simple, delicate, honest piece of work that strikes so many chords it could almost be music itself.
- In all the nostalgic celebrations, the impression is inevitably created that blues is some kind of touchstone for a simpler and more honest past: feel-good music for white people.
adverb• informal Back to top
- Used to persuade someone of the truth of something: you’ll like it when you get there, honestMore example sentences
- I've been neglecting my journal but I'm determined to try harder, honest.
earn (or turn) an honest penny
- Earn money fairly.More example sentences
- In his early years he also sold a variety of articles like accordions, concertinas and mouth-organs, costume accessories and polish - anything indeed which would turn an honest penny.
- They are a prime example, having never earned an honest penny in their miserable lives.
- The only offer he got was from a fellow-lodger, a young man who earned an honest penny by playing a tin whistle on the streets.
make an honest woman of
- • dated or • humorous Marry a woman, especially to avoid scandal if she is pregnant.[honest here originally meant 'respectable', but was probably associated with the archaic sense 'chaste']More example sentences
- I hear you're making an honest woman of my sister.
- Have you been putting off making an honest woman of your partner?
- A source close to the couple recently revealed: ‘David's really keen to make an honest woman of Catherine - they've never talked about their relationship in public but they definitely see a long future together.’
to be honest
- Speaking frankly: to be honest, I expected to play worseMore example sentences
- I never really thought it would happen and, to be honest, I still don't think it will.
- It's about an hour after the game and I'm still in a state of shock, to be honest.
- To say I broke my foot playing football is, to be honest, stretching the truth somewhat.
Middle English (originally in the sense 'held in or deserving of honour'): via Old French from Latin honestus, from honos (see honour).