One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘I did the only right and honest thing’
morally correct, upright, honourable, moral, ethical, principled, righteous, right-minded, respectable
virtuous, good, worthy, decent, law-abiding, high-minded, upstanding, just, fair, incorruptible, anti-corruption, truthful, true, veracious, trustworthy, trusty, reliable, conscientious, scrupulous, reputable, dependable, loyal, faithful
informal on the level, honest-to-goodness
2‘I haven't been totally honest with you’
truthful, sincere, candid, frank, direct, open, forthright, straight, straightforward, genuine, blunt, plain-spoken, plain-speaking, matter-of-fact, outspoken, as straight as a die, straight from the shoulder
3‘he'd made an honest mistake’
genuine, real, authentic, actual, true
legitimate, above board, fair and square
informal legit, kosher, on the level, honest-to-goodness
4‘they had given their honest opinion’
objective, impartial, unbiased, balanced, unprejudiced, disinterested, even-handed, fair, just, equitable
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