Decent vs. Honest

By Jaxson

  • Honest

    Honesty refers to a facet of moral character and connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, straightforwardness, including straightforwardness of conduct, along with the absence of lying, cheating, theft, etc. Honesty also involves being trustworthy, loyal, fair, and sincere.

    Honesty is valued in many ethnic and religious cultures. “Honesty is the best policy” is a proverb of Benjamin Franklin, while the quote “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom” is attributed to Thomas Jefferson, as used in a letter to Nathaniel Macon.

    William Shakespeare famously describes honesty as an attribute people leave behind when he wrote that “no legacy is so rich as honesty” in act 3 scene 5 of “All’s Well that Ends Well.”

    Others have noted, however, that “[t]oo much honesty might be seen as undisciplined openness”. For example, individuals may be perceived as being “too honest” if they honestly express the negative opinions of others, either without having been asked their opinion, or having been asked in a circumstance where the response would be trivial.

  • Decent (adjective)

    Appropriate; suitable for the circumstances.

  • Decent (adjective)

    Having a suitable conformity to basic moral standards; showing integrity, fairness, or other characteristics associated with moral uprightness.

  • Decent (adjective)

    Sufficiently clothed or dressed to be seen.

    “Are you decent? May I come in?”

  • Decent (adjective)

    Fair; good enough; okay.

    “He’s a decent saxophonist, but probably not good enough to make a career of it.”

  • Decent (adjective)

    Significant; substantial.

    “There are a decent number of references out there, if you can find them.”

  • Decent (adjective)

    Comely; shapely; well-formed.

  • Honest (adjective)

    Scrupulous with regard to telling the truth; not given to swindling, lying, or fraud; upright.

    “We’re the most honest people you will ever come across.”

  • Honest (adjective)

    True, especially as far as is known by the person making the statement; fair; unbiased.

    “an honest account of events; honest reporting”

  • Honest (adjective)

    In good faith; without malice.

    “an honest mistake”

  • Honest (adjective)


    “an honest scale”

  • Honest (adjective)

    Authentic; full.

    “an honest day’s work”

  • Honest (adjective)

    Earned or acquired in a fair manner.

    “an honest dollar”

  • Honest (adjective)

    Open; frank.

    “an honest countenance”

  • Honest (adjective)

    Decent; honourable; suitable; becoming.

  • Honest (adjective)

    Chaste; faithful; virtuous.

  • Honest (verb)

    To adorn or grace; to honour; to make becoming, appropriate, or honourable.

  • Honest (adverb)

    Honestly; really.

    “It wasn’t my fault, honest.”

  • Decent (adjective)

    conforming with generally accepted standards of respectable or moral behaviour

    “a decent clean-living individual”

  • Decent (adjective)

    appropriate; fitting

    “they would meet again after a decent interval”

  • Decent (adjective)

    not likely to shock or embarrass others

    “a decent high-necked dress”

  • Decent (adjective)

    sufficiently clothed to see visitors

    “‘Hello, miss? Are you decent?’”

  • Decent (adjective)

    of an acceptable standard; satisfactory

    “people need decent homes”

  • Decent (adjective)


    “there’s a few decent players in the team”

  • Decent (adjective)

    kind, obliging, or generous

    “that’s awfully decent of you”

Oxford Dictionary

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