I want to express that people respect each others' beliefs as well as uphold their own beliefs and systems. Tolerant means respecting others' beliefs, but what word stands for "uphold their own beliefs"?

Does "authentic" convey this meaning clearly in the following sentence? What are the other alternatives? Authentic person generally means one who is not fake.

People are tolerant and authentic.

Does "traditional" work here? Does it have any negative connotations?

  • 2
    It seems to me that with authentic and traditional you're just sort of randomly picking positive words without regard to their meaning. Meanings you can get from dictionaries; for synonyms, try a thesaurus. Dec 2, 2016 at 13:45
  • what is the word for people who uphold their beliefs? I cannot find that in a dictionary or a thesaurus.
    – emmy
    Dec 2, 2016 at 14:23
  • 2
    I don't know if there is a single word that means what you seem to want. I can't really think of a word for someone who upholds their beliefs, because that's kind of the standard or the default. There are more words for someone who doesn't live by their beliefs, like "hypocrite". You might have to use a longer phrasing like, "A genuine ______, who truly lived by his beliefs..."
    – stangdon
    Dec 2, 2016 at 15:41
  • Perhaps passionate, heartfelt, impassioned, fervent, or zealous?
    – elmer007
    Dec 2, 2016 at 20:29

6 Answers 6


I'm not sure that 'authentic' means that people respect each others' beliefs. To me it means that they are open with their own beliefs, and stay true to their own beliefs, but doesn't necessarily imply that they respect the beliefs of others. I'm open to correction on that though.

The expression that immediately springs to mind is open-minded. An open minded person is an unprejudiced person who is receptive to new and different ideas or the opinions of others, and is always willing to listen to and hear an opposing or contradictory view.

  • I edited my question. Tolerant/open minded for respect for others beliefs. What about people who uphold their beliefs and are proud of it?
    – emmy
    Dec 2, 2016 at 13:16
  • I see that you have updated your question, but it doesn't clarify things unfortunately. 'Traditional' doesn't convey the meaning you are looking for - when I think of a traditional people, I picture people who are living a traditional lifestyle - Inuit people for example. As for 'people who uphold their beliefs and are proud of it' - that would depend on what the beliefs are, how strongly they believe in it, and how willing they are to exclude any other belief. For example, if it's a belief in one's country, that person would be a patriot. Religious belief, 'devout' and 'pious' come to mind.
    – mike
    Dec 2, 2016 at 14:33

When applied to a person (or someone's personality) authentic means that they are "true to themselves" -- that their words and deeds accurately reflect the real person. For example, Bernie Sanders (US Senator and presidential candidate) is often considered to be authentic because his speeches and campaign promises are a reflection of the things he has supported and promoted his entire political career.

However, authentic does not in any way imply tolerance or open-mindedness. You could very easily call someone "an authentic asshole" if you thought it appropriate, meaning that they are honestly as much a jerk on the outside as they are on the inside.

You may be looking for sincere, or one of its many synonyms.


Someone who has integrity has

1. firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values

3. the quality or state of being complete or undivided

They have beliefs they adhere to.

They are "undivided": their actions are not opposed to their beliefs.


It sounds like you might be looking for honorable or one of its synonyms, such as upstanding, ethical, or conscientious.

Given the emphasis on having and upholding a personal set of beliefs, I think principled might work well for you. From Cambridge Dictionaries:

adjective US ​ /ˈprɪn·sə·pəld/
based on principles, or (of a person) having good personal standards of behavior:
She was known among her colleagues as a principled professional.


People [who respect each others' beliefs as well as uphold their own beliefs and systems] are tolerant and principled.


There are various descriptors for people who strongly believe in whatever "their belief system" is

true believer
fundamentalist - maintains core beliefs
advocate - promotes a belief
gate keeper - maintains the standards of a belief
dyed-in-the-wool - can not change their belief

some of these may also have religious overtones, and have no explicit meaning in terms of "open mindedness", though usually if one has a very strong belief in something it may limit inclusion of other belief systems.

In your examples

a traditionalist

is someone who believes in the "tradition" of "how things were or have been". Where as


means "genuine" without regard to the strength of belief.

Usually, additional context is necessary to bring together the disparate sides of "strong belief" and "inclusion"

open mindedness

He is a true believer in the free market system but still sympathetic to the social safety net
They advocate democracy while still respecting the monarch.
She is a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat while still wanting tax breaks.


I think conservative might work for you. The word has unfortunate political implications, especially in the US, suggesting intolerance, but at its core it simply means that one is uncomfortable with change. A person who is tolerant of the actions and beliefs of others, but who also doesn't change their own behaviour or views to be 'fashionable', could well be described as conservative.

You might also say that these people are open-minded but set in their ways, stubborn, or traditionalist.

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