Definition of honest-to-goodness in US English:



  • attributive Genuine and straightforward.

    ‘an honest-to-goodness family vacation in the sun’
    • ‘The momentary pause as their poor brains struggled to cope with the concept of an actual honest-to-goodness biker being in the room gave me just enough time to beat a hasty retreat.’
    • ‘Socialism and anti-racism are ideas; greed and inequality are just plain, honest-to-goodness facts of life.’
    • ‘Well, first I dreamt that I lived on the second or third floor of the building, and I was looking out the window and saw that my neighbours were having an honest-to-goodness orgy.’
    • ‘None of them needs any last-minute fiddling about with: they are just simple, earthy, honest-to-goodness dishes that will hopefully bring a smile to your face.’
    • ‘Three officers arrived within minutes, eager to solve the first case of honest-to-goodness crime in our 60-year-old cul-de-sac's history.’
    • ‘It's also nice to meet a promotions director who acts like an honest-to-goodness human being rather than an annoying sales representative.’
    • ‘Well, as you read about a couple days ago, I'm a real, honest-to-goodness New Yorker.’
    • ‘I just got back from a visit to a barber, one of the honest-to-goodness kinds that I haven't been to in years.’
    • ‘In the early 90s, they had their share of UK top 40 singles but no honest-to-goodness hits.’
    • ‘Established in 1929, the hotel has recently undergone a facelift, but still maintains the character of a place where locals have always gathered to catch up with each other and, of course, listen to some honest-to-goodness country music.’
    • ‘The first statement is an honest-to-goodness lie, the last a half truth.’
    • ‘The film's biggest dose of reality (and arguably its biggest draw) comes from the live, honest-to-goodness sharks that surrounded Travis and Ryan for two days during shooting.’
    • ‘These last four episodes finally deliver emotional depth and honest-to-goodness conflict, which sets up even deeper (or more melodramatic, based on your viewpoint) reactions in the viewer.’
    • ‘The informant may even be an honest-to-goodness patriot.’
    • ‘The storyline is genuinely engaging, an honest-to-goodness mystery.’
    • ‘He estimates that ‘an honest-to-goodness clean-up of the corporate sector would entail the loss of two to three million jobs.’’
    • ‘Should a landlord refuse payment from a tenant if the money wasn't earned through honest-to-goodness hard work?’
    • ‘More often than not, these men are not interested in taking me home to their families, introducing me to their friends or pursuing honest-to-goodness relationships.’
    • ‘Pragmatism and honest-to-goodness hard work can benefit us all.’
    morally correct, upright, honourable, moral, ethical, principled, righteous, right-minded, respectable
    genuine, real, authentic, actual, true
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/ˈˌɑnəst tə ˈɡʊdnəs/