Honesty / honest

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sincerity, candor, candour, frankness, veracity, pureness

German: Ehrlichkeit

Word origin

Originally from Latin "honor" = "recognition, affirmation, official honor, high meaning of life".

The term "honor" was first developed and described in detail by Aristotle in "Nicomachean Ethics" (334-322 BC)


Faithful and true behavior of a person


Honesty describes the quality of always telling the truth, that is, not giving the untruth in any form whatsoever.

The term honesty contains the word "honor", so honesty is - in the sense of virtuous behavior - an honorable appearance in true language and text as well as an open and not manipulative acting.

Honesty is the basis of a mutual trusting relationship. Without them, no sound trust can be built up or maintained.

In addition to honesty with others, there is also honesty with oneself. Obtaining them and having them permanently is a lot more difficult, because it requires self-discipline in order to admit oneself, one's own quirks, mistakes and deficits, and to work on its elimination.


"Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom."

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

"Make sure you become an honest person, because that will make sure that there is one less scoundrel in the world."

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist and historian

"He who learns to change himself late in life has the appearance of honesty."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

"A painful truth is better than a lie."

Thomas Mann (1875-1955) German writer

"If I'm not honest by nature either, it's sometimes coincidence."

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

In the media

Some Truths About Honesty | Alexander Wagner | TEDxZurich

Posted on 19.01.2017 from the YouTube account "TEDx Talks"

Wagner takes us on an interdisciplinary journey, spanning economics, ethics, finance, psychology, and sociology. His talk provides a novel perspective on what we know about truthfulness, as well as an opportunity for introspection. Wagner leaves us with a heightened sensitivity towards the slippery slopes of deception.

This VALUE is still in progress. We are currently (since 25. Okt 2019) translating the German terms into English. The goal is to have a complete Dictonary of values in English - including attribution to German values.

To the list of English values on www.values-dictionary.com (List of all values) >>

Last changes on 24.11.2019

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