Definition of dishonest in English:



  • 1Behaving or prone to behave in an untrustworthy or fraudulent way.

    ‘he was a dishonest hypocrite prepared to exploit his family’
    • ‘Losing honorably may signify lack of preparation but dishonest winning signifies lack of character.’
    • ‘As it is I am not a dishonest person, and I did not feel good about lying.’
    • ‘This deeply dishonest way of putting things is crammed with doubtful assumptions.’
    • ‘Rarely has the true face of our bloodthirsty, dishonest and hypocritical rulers been revealed so clearly.’
    • ‘People in the real world can be violent, greedy and dishonest.’
    • ‘If your bag is stolen and you happen to have a letter containing your address in it, a dishonest person could easily break in.’
    • ‘I think it is dishonest to advertise their service as impartial.’
    • ‘Police say he was manipulative, dishonest, cunning and intimidating.’
    • ‘Anyone who was a little dishonest could have taken that mail.’
    • ‘You were attracted by the glamour of owning a football club but were prepared to use dishonest means to obtain that glamour.’
    • ‘If a person pretends to be what he is not, he is usually accused of being dishonest or fraudulent.’
    • ‘She said she preferred being poor and honest than rich and dishonest.’
    • ‘So the next best strategy is to convince the electorate that all the other candidates are just as tawdry and dishonest.’
    • ‘It might be very hurtful for parents to find that their daughter is dishonest.’
    • ‘It did not necessarily mean that any of the witnesses were being deliberately deceitful and dishonest.’
    • ‘A series of dishonest dealings ensues, and the ramifications extend well beyond the contest.’
    • ‘While having a positive and happy disposition, you are so sensitive that you can feel when others are being dishonest or insincere.’
    • ‘This does not make them unethical, dishonest people in life or their law practice.’
    • ‘I am not prepared to find that any of these witnesses was dishonest in the evidence that they gave.’
    • ‘We must show our country that there is an alternative to this deceitful, dishonest, and discredited government.’
    fraudulent, corrupt, swindling, cheating, double-dealing
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Intended to mislead or cheat.
      ‘he gave the editor a dishonest account of events’
      • ‘The various excuses and explanations he has given are transparently false and dishonest.’
      • ‘In cases of dishonest assistance the accountability of the third parties will not be confined to the profit which he has made.’
      • ‘But at the same time it would be dishonest not to admit that events added some character of sorts to the holiday.’
      • ‘Is my use of the term in that sense misleading or dishonest?’
      • ‘If that is so, the imposition of the prohibition order is the most cynical and dishonest edict to come out of local government in my lifetime.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘dishonorable, unchaste’): from Old French deshoneste, Latin dehonestus.