• (RP) IPA: /ˈɒnəsti/, /ˈɒnəstɪ/
    • (RP dated) IPA: /ˈɔːnɪstɪ/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈɑːnəsti/


  1. (uncountable, countable) The act, quality, or condition of being honest.
    academic / artistic / emotional / intellectual honesty
    brutal / devastating / searing honesty
    • circa 1594 William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act III, Scene 2,
      There’s no trust,
      No faith, no honesty in men; all perjured,
      All forsworn, all naught, all dissemblers.
    • 1787, George Colman the Younger, Inkle and Yarico, London: G.G.J. & J. Robinson, Act 2, p. 45,
      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.
    • 1883, Oscar Wilde, The Duchess of Padua, London: Methuen, 5th edition, 1916, Act I, p. 20,
      [...] Are you honest, boy?
      Then be not spendthrift of your honesty,
      But keep it to yourself; in Padua
      Men think that honesty is ostentatious, so
      It is not of the fashion.
    • 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.
    • circa 1599 William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Act II, Scene 3,
      Have ye no wit, manners, nor honesty, but to gabble like tinkers at this time of night?
    • 1607, [Barnabe Barnes], The Divils Charter: A Tragædie Conteining the Life and Death of Pope Alexander the Sixt. […], London: Printed by G[eorge] E[ld] for Iohn Wright, […], OCLC 1043018437 ↗, Act V, scene i ↗:
      Fellowes in armes faithfull and valiant, / I thanke you for your paines and honeſties, [...]
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, First Epistle to Timothy 2.2,
      [...] that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
  3. (uncountable, countable, obsolete) Chastity.
    • circa 1600 William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II, Scene 2,
      [...] spend all I have; only give me so much of your time in exchange of it, as to lay an amiable siege to the honesty of this Ford’s wife [...]
    • circa 1625 John Fletcher (playwright), The Fair Maid of the Inn, Act V, Scene 1, in Alexander Dyce (editor), The Works of Beaumont and Fletcher, New York: Appleton, 1890, Volume 2, p. 669,
      [...] Oh, these vild women,
      That are so ill preservers of men’s honours,
      They cannot govern their own honesties!
  4. (countable) Any of various crucifers in the genus Lunaria, several of which are grown as ornamentals, particularly Lunaria annua.
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