American English

Definition of honest adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    jump to other results
  1. 1always telling the truth, and never stealing or cheating an honest man/woman opposite dishonest
  2. 2not hiding the truth about something an honest answer honest (about something) Are you being completely honest about your feelings? honest (with somebody) Thank you for being so honest with me. Give me your honest opinion. The meeting was described as “a frank and honest exchange of views.” To be honest (= what I really think is), it was one of the worst books I've ever read. Let's be honest, she's only interested in Mike because of his money.
  3. 3showing an honest mind or attitude She's got an honest face.
  4. 4(of work or wages) earned or resulting from hard work He hasn't done an honest day's work in his life. It's quite a struggle to make an honest living. She claimed she was just trying to earn an honest dollar. Use an, not a, before honest.
  5. Idioms
    honest! (informal)
    jump to other results
    used to emphasize that you are not lying I didn't mean it, honest!
    honest to God/goodness
    jump to other results
    used to emphasize that what you are saying is true Honest to God, Mary, I'm not joking. Some people find this use offensive.
    make an honest woman of somebody (old-fashioned) (humorous)
    jump to other results
    to marry a woman after having had a sexual relationship with her Thesaurushonestdirect open outspoken straight blunt frankThese words all describe people saying exactly what they mean without trying to hide feelings, opinions, or facts.honest not hiding the truth about something:Thank you for being so honest with saying exactly what you mean in a way that nobody can pretend not to understand:You'll have to get used to his direct manner. Being direct is sometimes considered positive but sometimes it is used as a “polite” way of saying that someone is (approving) (of a person) not keeping thoughts and feelings hidden:He was quite open about his reasons for leaving.outspoken saying exactly what you think, even if this shocks or offends people:She was outspoken in her criticism of the plan.straight honest and direct:I don't think you're being straight with me.blunt saying exactly what you think without trying to be polite:She has a reputation for being blunt.frank (somewhat formal) honest in what you say, sometimes in a way that other people might not like:To be frank with you, I think your son has little chance of passing the exam.which word?Honest and frank refer to what you say as much as how you say it:a(n) honest/frank admission of guilt. They are generally positive words, although it is possible to be too frank in a way that other people might not like. Direct, outspoken, and blunt all describe someone's manner of saying what they think. Outspoken suggests that you are willing to shock people by saying what you believe to be right. Blunt and direct often suggest that you think honesty is more important than being polite. Open is positive and describes someone's character:I'm a very open person.Patterns honest/direct/open/outspoken/straight/frank about something honest/direct/open/straight/blunt/frank with somebody a(n) honest/direct/straight/blunt answer a direct/blunt/frank manner
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: honest