is there any difference between words "truthful","honest" and "veracious"? or do they mean exactly the same?

I checked the dictionaries but want to learn subtlety in their meanings.

  • To me "veracious" is a character trait with respect to speech, "truthful" is the description of behavior with respect to speech, and "honest" has a higher connotation, since it relates to "honor". Oct 7, 2015 at 16:49

1 Answer 1



  • Truthful as about the absolute fact: "Truthfully, your chocolate cake tasted oddly of liver."
  • Honest is about openness: "Honestly, I hated it."

And one can be truthful without being honest:

Q: What do you think of my new hat/hair style/dress...

A: It's quite eye-catching.

Regarding veracious... I don't think I've ever seen or heard it used.

  • Now this is a BIG problem for non native english speakers like me. How am I to know whether a word is commonly used one or obselete? I mean I came across this word "veracious" somewhere while reading GRE word list. I do not want to learn words that are not even known to the native speakers. Oct 8, 2015 at 4:15

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