Definition of honest adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈɒnɪst//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɑːnɪst//
    Moral, Honest
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  1. 1  always telling the truth, and never stealing or cheating an honest man/woman opposite dishonest See related entries: Moral, Honest
  2. 2  not 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. Synonymshonestfrank direct open outspoken straight bluntThese 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 me.frank 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.direct 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 somebody is rude.open (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 blunt speaking.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 somebody’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 somebody’s character:I’m a very open person.Patterns honest/​frank/​direct/​open/​outspoken/​straight about something honest/​frank/​direct/​open/​straight/​blunt with somebody a(n) honest/​direct/​straight/​blunt answer a frank/​direct/​blunt manner See related entries: Moral
  3. 3  showing an honest mind or attitude She's got an honest face. See related entries: Moral
  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 penny.
  5. Use an, not a, before honest.
    Word OriginMiddle English (originally in the sense ‘held in or deserving of honour’): via Old French from Latin honestus, from honos, honor.Extra examples I don’t think you’ve been altogether honest with me. Let’s be brutally honest about this: you don’t have a hope of succeeding. My parents were always completely honest with me. She seems honest enough. She was totally open and honest about her feelings. To be quite honest with you, I don’t think he’s the right person for the job. Try to be honest about how you feel. Let’s be honest, she’s only interested in Mike because of his money. To be honest, it was one of the worst books I’ve ever read. Try to give an honest answer. an honest man/​womanIdioms (informal) used to emphasize that you are not lying I didn't mean it, honest! 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
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    (old-fashioned, humorous) to marry a woman after having had a sexual relationship with her
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: honest