Definition of honestly in English:

honestly

adverb

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

    ‘he'd come by the money honestly’
    • ‘If you have to deal with it, deal with it honestly in age-appropriate terms.’
    • ‘This was a great contest, fought fairly and honestly, with Aberdeen probably just deserving their narrow victory.’
    • ‘Would you trust this man to behave fairly, honestly, and ethically in his portfolio?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For weeks afterward she asked a great deal of questions, and I answered as simply and honestly as I could.’
    • ‘Money transactions are conducted honestly and according to your wishes.’
    • ‘Seeing a therapist gave me the strength to deal honestly with my sexuality.’
    • ‘We would do better to deal honestly with what they have shown us than to criticize them for speaking the truth without love.’
    • ‘As a doctor you have a professional responsibility to deal with complaints constructively and honestly.’
    • ‘If you don't have money, it takes courage to face your money problems bravely and honestly.’
    • ‘The public repeatedly identifies nurses as the profession most trusted to act honestly and ethically.’
    • ‘But none of us can honestly say how we would deal with that type of situation.’
    • ‘Formerly, physicians were told simply to deal honestly with patients and colleagues.’
    • ‘He had reached a wrong conclusion, but there was every indication that he had come to this decision honestly and honourably.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I think people expect if money's going to be spent that it be spent honestly.’
    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’
    • ‘Do we honestly believe, for instance, that justice is something that should be determined by economic forces?’
    • ‘I honestly believe that the game was won and lost in that first half.’
    • ‘So do you honestly believe it's only a matter of time before people develop an increased respect for other species?’
    • ‘I sincerely and honestly regret everything that happened.’
    • ‘Quite honestly I think they should teach cooking as a separate subject and call it just that.’
    • ‘I honestly believe that lottery money will be forthcoming but I cannot say to what level.’
    • ‘Does he honestly believe that his government, or any other, should prioritise investment in telephone lines and aircraft?’
    • ‘I honestly believe that it wasn't just an attack on America, although it happened here in America.’
    • ‘Until then I honestly believed that I would never forgive my mother.’
    • ‘I honestly do believe that people are safe - people who live a certain lifestyle will be more likely to be victims of crime.’
    • ‘It's terribly trite, but I honestly think I have the best mother in the world.’
    • ‘If not, how then can you honestly expect - and demand - to be treated equally to heterosexual couples?’
    • ‘I honestly believe that is why so many people are so unhappy today.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I found the images truly sickening and I honestly could not believe that you would decide to publish them.’
    • ‘I honestly believe we now represent the mainstream alternative in America.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 that most governments want to do good, even this one.’
    • ‘If you honestly believe that prayer will help, by all means go and pray.’
    • ‘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?’
    frankly, candidly, sincerely, genuinely, truthfully, truly, wholeheartedly, freely, openly, plainly, straight out, straight from the shoulder
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    1. 2.1[sentence adverb] Used to emphasize the truthfulness of a statement:
      ‘honestly, darling, I'm not upset’
      • ‘It was the chief steward, and, quite honestly, the last person Kirstle wanted to see just then.’
      • ‘My relationship with my wife is becoming rocky because, quite honestly, I don't listen to her.’
      • ‘That a major prime-time show reflects this viewpoint is honestly quite disturbing to me.’
      • ‘Quite honestly I don't think today is the time to hurl accusations.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And I honestly was trying to look at peaceful ways to deal with this situation.’
      • ‘Quite honestly, alcohol is a bigger curse than cannabis.’
      • ‘I honestly don't have time to deal with all the complaints that customers often have with bad deals.’
      • ‘Quite honestly, when we finish a movie, we very often don't know if we're going to get to make another one.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Quite honestly, I am sometimes thankful for what I don't know about my patients' lives.’
      • ‘The walk home was less of a gallop and quite honestly it was a relief to get into bed.’
      • ‘There may well be a point to all this, but quite honestly MPs should be worrying about weightier matters.’
      • ‘I will admit that my motivations are, quite honestly, selfish.’
      • ‘While it was a very tough decision, quite honestly, I really didn't have much choice.’
      • ‘Quite honestly, I don't like to go into those situations until everything is at least settled down.’
      • ‘So quite honestly, it's a hard question for me to answer because it is extremely hypothetical.’
      • ‘I suppose that was fair enough and quite honestly I enjoyed the walk.’
      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. 2.2[sentence adverb] Used to indicate the speaker's annoyance or impatience:
      ‘honestly, that man is the absolute limit!’
      • ‘Oh honestly, was that really necessary?’
      • ‘Honestly, did you have to tell everyone?’
      • ‘Oh, honestly! Could my day possibly be more boring?’

Pronunciation:

honestly

/ˈɒnɪstli/