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[on-uh-stee] /ˈɒn ə sti/
noun, plural honesties.
the quality or fact of being honest; uprightness and fairness.
truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness.
freedom from deceit or fraud.
Botany. a plant, Lunaria annua, of the mustard family, having clusters of purple flowers and semitransparent, satiny pods.
Obsolete. chastity.
Origin of honesty
1300-50; Middle English honeste < Middle French < Latin honestās. See honest, -ty2
Related forms
overhonesty, noun
1. integrity, probity, rectitude. See honor. 2. candor, veracity.
1. dishonesty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for honesty
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To you—you alone—I will give every guarantee that a man may give of his honor and honesty.

    Tony Butler Charles James Lever
  • The very fact that they come to us for help is an avowal of their honesty.

  • Nay, I will consent to act any villany against him, that may not sully the chariness of our honesty.

    The Merry Wives of Windsor William Shakespeare
  • The confidence of the public in his honesty was as great a reward as the stakes.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • The registrar and recorder was to be a person of good discretion and honesty, and his salary paid in sugar and tobacco.

British Dictionary definitions for honesty


noun (pl) -ties
the condition of being honest
sincerity or fairness
(archaic) virtue or respect
Also called moonwort, satinpod. a purple-flowered SE European plant, Lunaria annua, cultivated for its flattened silvery pods, which are used for indoor decoration: family Brassicaceae (crucifers)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for honesty

early 14c., "splendor, honor; elegance," later "honorable position; propriety of behavior, good manners; virginity, chastity" (late 14c.), from Old French honesté (Modern French honnêteté), from Latin honestatem (nominative honestas) "honor received from others; reputation, character;" figuratively "uprightness, probity, integrity, virtue," from honestus (see honest). Meaning "moral purity, uprightness, virtue, justness" is from c.1400; in English, the word originally had more to do with honor than honest.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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