Definition of honestly in English:

honestly

adverb

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

    ‘he'd come by the money honestly’
    • ‘Formerly, physicians were told simply to deal honestly with patients and colleagues.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If you have to deal with it, deal with it honestly in age-appropriate terms.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As a doctor you have a professional responsibility to deal with complaints constructively and honestly.’
    • ‘We still have not seen a depiction of these events that can deal honestly with the real history.’
    • ‘He had reached a wrong conclusion, but there was every indication that he had come to this decision honestly and honourably.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But none of us can honestly say how we would deal with that type of situation.’
    • ‘For weeks afterward she asked a great deal of questions, and I answered as simply and honestly as I could.’
    • ‘This was a great contest, fought fairly and honestly, with Aberdeen probably just deserving their narrow victory.’
    • ‘Money transactions are conducted honestly and according to your wishes.’
    • ‘These natives must learn to deal honestly with their emotions and be a little less secretive with their feelings of hostility or hurt.’
    • ‘Seeing a therapist gave me the strength to deal honestly with my sexuality.’
    • ‘And there are very few of these nouveau riche who came by their money honestly.’
    • ‘We would do better to deal honestly with what they have shown us than to criticize them for speaking the truth without love.’
    • ‘I'll tell you that most agents act honestly, professionally and ethically.’
    • ‘Would you trust this man to behave fairly, honestly, and ethically in his portfolio?’
    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, belief, or feeling.

    ‘she honestly believed that she was making life easier for Jack’
    • ‘Quite honestly I think they should teach cooking as a separate subject and call it just that.’
    • ‘I sincerely and honestly regret everything that happened.’
    • ‘I honestly believe that most governments want to do good, even this one.’
    • ‘Does he honestly believe that his government, or any other, should prioritise investment in telephone lines and aircraft?’
    • ‘I honestly believe that the game was won and lost in that first half.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So do you honestly believe it's only a matter of time before people develop an increased respect for other species?’
    • ‘I honestly believe that lottery money will be forthcoming but I cannot say to what level.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Until then I honestly believed that I would never forgive my mother.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘I honestly do believe that people are safe - people who live a certain lifestyle will be more likely to be victims of crime.’
    • ‘I honestly believe that it wasn't just an attack on America, although it happened here 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.’
    • ‘It's terribly trite, but I honestly think I have the best mother in the world.’
    • ‘I honestly believe we now represent the mainstream alternative in America.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If not, how then can you honestly expect - and demand - to be treated equally to heterosexual couples?’
    • ‘I found the images truly sickening and I honestly could not believe that you would decide to publish them.’
    • ‘If you honestly believe that prayer will help, by all means go and pray.’
    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 sincerity or 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.’
      • ‘There may well be a point to all this, but quite honestly MPs should be worrying about weightier matters.’
      • ‘It's not that hard, quite honestly, for these guys to stay out of trouble.’
      • ‘I sighed and told him quite honestly that I felt sick and that I didn't want to go.’
      • ‘Quite honestly I don't think today is the time to hurl accusations.’
      • ‘I will admit that my motivations are, quite honestly, selfish.’
      • ‘Quite honestly, I am sometimes thankful for what I don't know about my patients' lives.’
      • ‘Quite honestly, when we finish a movie, we very often don't know if we're going to get to make another one.’
      • ‘That a major prime-time show reflects this viewpoint is honestly quite disturbing to me.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was the chief steward, and, quite honestly, the last person Kirstle wanted to see just then.’
      • ‘The walk home was less of a gallop and quite honestly it was a relief to get into bed.’
      • ‘And I honestly was trying to look at peaceful ways to deal with this situation.’
      • ‘While it was a very tough decision, quite honestly, I really didn't have much choice.’
      • ‘Quite honestly, there's no hiding to be done behind politics.’
      • ‘My relationship with my wife is becoming rocky because, quite honestly, I don't listen to her.’
      • ‘I suppose that was fair enough and quite honestly I enjoyed the walk.’
      • ‘So quite honestly, it's a hard question for me to answer because it is extremely hypothetical.’
      • ‘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 disapproval, annoyance, or impatience.
      ‘honestly, that man is the absolute limit!’
      • ‘Honestly, did you have to tell everyone?’
      • ‘Oh, honestly! Could my day possibly be more boring?’
      • ‘Oh honestly, was that really necessary?’

Pronunciation

honestly

/ˈänəstlē//ˈɑnəstli/