From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishhonestlyhon‧est‧ly /ˈɒnəstli $ ˈɑːn-/ ●●○ S3 adverb 1 TRUEused to emphasize that what you are saying is true, even though it may seem surprising I honestly don’t know how old my parents are. I can honestly say that I never worry about him now.2 spokenANNOYSHOCK used when you are shocked or annoyed by something someone has said or done SYN really Honestly! Do you ever listen?3 spokenTRUE used to try to make someone believe that what you have just said is true It wasn’t me, honestly!4 HONESTin an honest way SYN truthfully Tell me honestly, Kate, what do you think of John? We talked openly and honestly. ‘No, I don’t, ’ she answered honestly.
Examples from the Corpushonestly• I was going to give you it back, honestly.• Please fill out the questionnaire as honestly as possible.• I honestly can't think of anything we wanted that this holiday didn't provide.• I knew it was wrong but I honestly could not make myself say yes to that man.• I honestly don't know.• I honestly don't think we'll be in court all day tomorrow.• Dorothy and I love the city, although our children have quite honestly had some problems.• Oh honestly! I don't know why I even bother.• Honestly, it makes no difference to me where we have the wedding.• I don't honestly know why he agreed to do the film, except that all he wanted was a fifteen-minute death scene.• How could she honestly make this pigheaded man see sense?• But then, she admitted honestly, so could she!• I can't believe people honestly teased you about that.• Honestly, they didn't hear that from me.• He honestly thought it was all right.• He needs to talk honestly with Billie.