The Relationship Between Truth and Honesty

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Truth means:

  • the quality or state of being true.
  • that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.
  • a fact or belief that is accepted as true.

The opposite of truth is: lies, fiction, falsity.

Similar to truth is Honesty, which denotes being:

  • free of deceit and untruthfulness.
  • sincere, or candid.
  • blameless or well intentioned even if unsuccessful or misguided.

Opposites of honest include: insincere, biased, and – obviously – dishonest.


‘Truth’ and ‘Honesty’ may seem like synonyms, but there is a slight difference—the latter is a state of being, something that you are; the former is something that you can provide, as well as the condition of something being accurate.

The two may be similar, but they are not inextricably linked.

What if I told you that someone can tell the truth without being honest? Or that it is possible to tell an untruth (lie) honestly?

The truth honesty relationship matrix

The best example I can give is the bully at school who takes your own hand and hits you in the face with it while taunting, “Quit hittin’ yourself… Quit hittin’ yourself… Why are you hitting yourself?”

Is it true that you are hitting yourself, in that it is your hand hitting your face.

But it’s not honest to say that you’re hitting yourself.

Just something to keep in mind while politics goes off the rails.


More word’s relates to truth and honesty:

upright

honorable

ethical

principled

incorruptible

trustworthy

scrupulous

frank

direct

open

forthright

straightforward

genuine

genuineness

validity

factualness

factuality

authenticity


And, just for fun: