Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for February 17, 2020 is:
probity • PROH-buh-tee • noun
: adherence to the highest principles and ideals : uprightness
The tale of young George Washington’s refusal to tell a lie after cutting down his father’s cherry tree was told to us as grade schoolers to illustrate his probity.
“The schoolmaster was often the most trusted man in America’s rural school districts. While some of his students might hold different opinions, the schoolmaster’s probity, impartiality and wisdom were valued by the community.” — Dan Krieger, The San Luis Obispo (California) Tribune, 21 Sept. 2019
Did you know?
Probity and its synonyms honesty, honor, and integrity all mean uprightness of character or action, with some slight differences in emphasis. Honesty implies a refusal to lie or deceive in any way. Honor suggests an active or anxious regard for the standards of one’s profession, calling, or position. Integrity implies trustworthiness and incorruptibility to a degree that one is incapable of being false to a trust, responsibility, or pledge. Probity, which descends from Latin probus, meaning “honest,” implies tried and proven honesty or integrity.