Definition of honestly in English:

honestly

adverb

  • 1In a truthful, fair, or honourable way.

    ‘he'd come by the money honestly’
    • ‘Would you trust this man to behave fairly, honestly, and ethically in his portfolio?’
    • ‘He had reached a wrong conclusion, but there was every indication that he had come to this decision honestly and honourably.’
    • ‘We would do better to deal honestly with what they have shown us than to criticize them for speaking the truth without love.’
    • ‘If you have to deal with it, deal with it honestly in age-appropriate terms.’
    • ‘Money transactions are conducted honestly and according to your wishes.’
    • ‘If you don't have money, it takes courage to face your money problems bravely and honestly.’
    • ‘The movie is mostly about friendship but deals honestly with youth themes such as sexuality and drug taking.’
    • ‘These natives must learn to deal honestly with their emotions and be a little less secretive with their feelings of hostility or hurt.’
    • ‘There seems to be no real doubt that the third argument is false and that at least some, possibly many, patients would wish to be dealt with honestly.’
    • ‘Seeing a therapist gave me the strength to deal honestly with my sexuality.’
    • ‘Formerly, physicians were told simply to deal honestly with patients and colleagues.’
    • ‘And there are very few of these nouveau riche who came by their money honestly.’
    • ‘We still have not seen a depiction of these events that can deal honestly with the real history.’
    • ‘I'll tell you that most agents act honestly, professionally and ethically.’
    • ‘This was a great contest, fought fairly and honestly, with Aberdeen probably just deserving their narrow victory.’
    • ‘The public repeatedly identifies nurses as the profession most trusted to act honestly and ethically.’
    • ‘I think people expect if money's going to be spent that it be spent honestly.’
    • ‘For weeks afterward she asked a great deal of questions, and I answered as simply and honestly as I could.’
    • ‘As a doctor you have a professional responsibility to deal with complaints constructively and honestly.’
    • ‘But none of us can honestly say how we would deal with that type of situation.’
    fairly, lawfully, legally, legitimately, honourably, decently, ethically, morally, by fair means, by just means, without corruption, in good faith, by the book, in accordance with the rules
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  • 2Used to emphasize the sincerity of an opinion or feeling.

    ‘she honestly believed that she was making life easier for Jack’
    • ‘I sincerely and honestly regret everything that happened.’
    • ‘I found the images truly sickening and I honestly could not believe that you would decide to publish them.’
    • ‘I honestly believe that it wasn't just an attack on America, although it happened here in America.’
    • ‘Does he honestly believe that his government, or any other, should prioritise investment in telephone lines and aircraft?’
    • ‘If not, how then can you honestly expect - and demand - to be treated equally to heterosexual couples?’
    • ‘People ask me why I want to get into advertising and I'm always stumped to give them a real answer that they can honestly believe.’
    • ‘I honestly do believe that people are safe - people who live a certain lifestyle will be more likely to be victims of crime.’
    • ‘Well, if an officer of your rank, with clout and a good deal of power and influence does not speak out, do you honestly expect that others below your rank would?’
    • ‘If you honestly believe that prayer will help, by all means go and pray.’
    • ‘If we honestly believed that any of this stuff was true then most of us would have been so disappointed by now that we'd have joined a monastery and taken a vow of celibacy.’
    • ‘I honestly believe we now represent the mainstream alternative in America.’
    • ‘I honestly believe that the game was won and lost in that first half.’
    • ‘Do we honestly believe, for instance, that justice is something that should be determined by economic forces?’
    • ‘I honestly believe that is why so many people are so unhappy today.’
    • ‘I honestly believe that most governments want to do good, even this one.’
    • ‘So do you honestly believe it's only a matter of time before people develop an increased respect for other species?’
    • ‘I am a animal lover, although I do eat meat, but I honestly believe animals have just as much right to live as we have.’
    • ‘Until then I honestly believed that I would never forgive my mother.’
    • ‘I honestly believe that lottery money will be forthcoming but I cannot say to what level.’
    • ‘It's terribly trite, but I honestly think I have the best mother in the world.’
    • ‘Quite honestly I think they should teach cooking as a separate subject and call it just that.’
    frankly, candidly, sincerely, genuinely, truthfully, truly, wholeheartedly, freely, openly, plainly, straight out, straight from the shoulder
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    1. 2.1sentence adverb Used to emphasize the truthfulness of a statement.
      ‘honestly, darling, I'm not upset’
      • ‘Quite honestly, I don't like to go into those situations until everything is at least settled down.’
      • ‘It's not that hard, quite honestly, for these guys to stay out of trouble.’
      • ‘I'm sure there's a load of stuff I'm supposed to be doing today, but quite honestly I can't remember what it was.’
      • ‘Quite honestly, alcohol is a bigger curse than cannabis.’
      • ‘Quite honestly I don't think today is the time to hurl accusations.’
      • ‘So quite honestly, it's a hard question for me to answer because it is extremely hypothetical.’
      • ‘That a major prime-time show reflects this viewpoint is honestly quite disturbing to me.’
      • ‘There may well be a point to all this, but quite honestly MPs should be worrying about weightier matters.’
      • ‘The walk home was less of a gallop and quite honestly it was a relief to get into bed.’
      • ‘My relationship with my wife is becoming rocky because, quite honestly, I don't listen to her.’
      • ‘Quite honestly, I am sometimes thankful for what I don't know about my patients' lives.’
      • ‘I will admit that my motivations are, quite honestly, selfish.’
      • ‘Quite honestly, when we finish a movie, we very often don't know if we're going to get to make another one.’
      • ‘It was the chief steward, and, quite honestly, the last person Kirstle wanted to see just then.’
      • ‘Quite honestly, there's no hiding to be done behind politics.’
      • ‘I sighed and told him quite honestly that I felt sick and that I didn't want to go.’
      • ‘While it was a very tough decision, quite honestly, I really didn't have much choice.’
      • ‘I suppose that was fair enough and quite honestly I enjoyed the walk.’
      • ‘And I honestly was trying to look at peaceful ways to deal with this situation.’
      • ‘I honestly don't have time to deal with all the complaints that customers often have with bad deals.’
      truthfully, really, truly, actually, to be honest, to tell you the truth, to be frank, speaking truthfully, speaking frankly, in all honesty, in all sincerity, in plain language, in plain English
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    2. 2.2sentence adverb Used to indicate the speaker's annoyance or impatience.
      ‘honestly, that man is the absolute limit!’
      • ‘Oh, honestly! Could my day possibly be more boring?’
      • ‘Oh honestly, was that really necessary?’
      • ‘Honestly, did you have to tell everyone?’

Pronunciation

honestly

/ˈɒnɪstli/