Definition of honnête homme in US English:

honnête homme


  • A decent, cultivated man of the world; a gentleman.

    • ‘The fact that many of the greatest philosophers and honnêtes hommes could observe the brutality and cruelty of which humans are capable and not ‘recognize their infirmity’ or ‘even bother to try’ is evidence of human wretchedness.’
    • ‘The honnête homme is not a truth-teller, but one who does ‘the right thing.’’
    • ‘They were bourgeois, gentlemen, honnêtes hommes, but their heart was with the weak ones, the oppressed ones in society.’
    • ‘The bourgeois honnêtes hommes will be glad to collect their car insurance and return to normalcy.’
    • ‘Instead of empowering individual subjectivity to arrive at certain truth, Pascal concluded that mathematical reasoning led honnêtes hommes to recognize and accept the limits of humanity's ability to know ultimate reality.’
    • ‘Or rather - so it seemed to him now - he had tried to absorb that experience the way a philosopher and a savant would have absorbed it, as if it were an idea, a notion, conforming to the demands of the limited human intellect, and had tried to adapt it to the standards of the honnête homme and the successful man of the world.’


French, literally ‘honest man’.


honnête homme

/ôˌnet ˈôm/