Definition of dishonesty in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Deceitfulness shown in someone's character or behaviour.

    ‘the dismissal of thirty civil servants for dishonesty and misconduct’
    • ‘It is a farce, founded on dishonesty: like the old regime itself.’
    • ‘There was no evidence of dishonesty or bad character with respect to either of them.’
    • ‘Cynicism and dishonesty characterize the administration of the program.’
    • ‘As an economic system it was based upon corruption, dishonesty and debt.’
    • ‘Too much people lack integrity and it is dishonesty that keeps them from being able to reason out issues.’
    • ‘He fought against dishonesty and corruption, opportunism and cowardice.’
    • ‘He did not hide his displeasure about the loss of integrity and how dishonesty has set in.’
    • ‘The athlete cheats and through his dishonesty he wins a gold medal and earns a considerable amount of money.’
    • ‘Honesty or dishonesty must however always be a question for the jury, and the present type of case is no exception.’
    • ‘You can always get what you want by bribery and corruption, dishonesty and deviousness.’
    • ‘Fortunately their own innate dishonesty makes them very bad at it.’
    • ‘But he tends to leave an impression of intellectual dishonesty, a disconcerting lack of sincerity.’
    • ‘This may be seen as part of a value system based upon personal honour, which eschews deceit and dishonesty towards members of the social group.’
    • ‘Explaining to students what is acceptable behaviour is important when trying to reduce dishonesty.’
    • ‘It is taken as a truism by most people that dishonesty and yobbish behaviour are on the increase in society.’
    • ‘It makes me want to grab this boy and keep him safe, unsullied by this world of dishonesty and guile, just as his parents must have wanted to.’
    • ‘Distorting news is not just writing to be read, it is deceitfulness and dishonesty at their worst.’
    • ‘This is distinct from dishonesty and misconduct, which should not be tolerated.’
    • ‘With that comes corruption, dishonesty, unfaithfulness, and being immoral.’
    • ‘Instead he had committed offences of dishonesty in the past and served a jail sentence for manufacturing counterfeit coins.’
    deceit, deception, duplicity, lying, falseness, falsity, falsehood, untruthfulness
    fraud, fraudulence, sharp practice, cheating, chicanery, craft, cunning, trickery, artifice, artfulness, wiliness, guile, double-dealing, underhandedness, subterfuge, skulduggery, treachery, perfidy, unfairness, unjustness, improbity, rascality, untrustworthiness, dishonour, unscrupulousness, corruption, criminality, lawlessness, lawbreaking, misconduct
    crookedness, shadiness, foxiness, dirty tricks, kidology, shenanigans, monkey business, funny business, hanky-panky
    management, knavery, knavishness
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[count noun]A fraudulent or deceitful act.
      ‘they are tackling the divisions and dishonesties on the campus’
      • ‘Opposants put out enough nonsense without supporters adding their own lies and dishonesties.’
      • ‘We'll be saying more about the particular fooleries, dishonesties and tendentiousness involved in these arguments.’
      • ‘There is now an endemic dishonesty attached to everything this prime minister says and does.’
      • ‘One of the common dishonesties in the academic world is faculty rejection of affirmative action in anonymous polls and support of it when voting publicly in faculty meetings or commenting in the media.’
      • ‘It was, in any case, a terrifying miscalculation which led to a fundamental dishonesty.’
      • ‘Little dishonesties start growing, debts start mounting - and an avenue of intimacy is closed off.’
      • ‘I have wondered about deleting the post, but there would be a fundamental dishonesty in doing so.’
      • ‘Finally, a major publication has taken up one of the key dishonesties in the President's argument for phasing out Social Security.’
      • ‘For those of you staring at the byline about to reach for your pens and write scathing letters crying out nepotism and other indecent dishonesties, sit down.’
      • ‘That is not what this Inquiry should be about, so I think that is - there is a dishonesty around some of what you have been told.’
      • ‘And yet the arguments he adduces are gimmicky and puerile and laced with minor dishonesties all the way through.’
      • ‘The author is able to bring forth an implied criticism of the hopelessness of the situations, or of the dishonesties and the hypocritical subterfuges of the adult world.’
      • ‘Then the film melts into a strange political gloop, where significant facts are stickily mixed with half-arguments, innuendos and outright dishonesties.’
      • ‘His excellent history of the papacy catalogs many papal deceits, frauds, and intellectual dishonesties over the centuries.’
      • ‘There is actually a dishonesty, really, about that slogan that says to keep it in the laboratory and it will be OK.’
      • ‘Clear a space on 4 February for the former chief financial officer, when he's due in court charged with a string of dishonesties.’
      make-believe, act, putting on an act, acting, dissembling, shamming, sham, faking, feigning, simulation, falsification, dissimulation, invention, imagination, self-deception, play-acting, posturing, posture, posing, pose, cant, attitudinizing
      View synonyms


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘dishonour, sexual misconduct’): from Old French deshoneste indecency (see dishonest).