Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm looking for the adjective form of "integrity."

Instead of "Be a person of integrity," I'd like to say something like "Be [one word I'm looking for]"

I did a Google search for this, but I also wanted to know what stackexchange folks would like to say.

share|improve this question
2  
I feel confused by the conflict between the subject and the tags. The subject would suggest you were looking for integrious, one precise adjective form of the core noun, no choices here. The tag "word-choice" suggests the opposite, you mean neat adjectives that are synonyms for "a person of integrity". The question at the end of your post can be understood both ways. Users are already arguing. Could you either scrap the tag "word-choice" or include "synonyms" somewhere? –  SF. Nov 7 '12 at 8:02
    
I believe honourable or virtuous convey the meaning best. –  user45320 Jun 2 '13 at 15:17
add comment

13 Answers

Virtuous: Having or showing virtue, especially moral excellence: led a virtuous life.

Note that integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.

Be virtuous!

share|improve this answer
2  
+1. This isn't from the same stem, obviously, but it's the nearest suggestion that has the intended meaning. –  JSBձոգչ Nov 17 '10 at 6:12
1  
-1, If I could downvote. The question is for adjectival form of integrity, not for any adjective that means the subject has integrity. –  systemovich Nov 19 '10 at 12:34
1  
@GeoffreyvanWyk: What's the difference? –  David Schwartz Nov 7 '12 at 0:16
1  
Integrity has meanings other than virtue. For instance: data integrity. So this answer is only sort of right, some of the time (yes, one of those times is the situation cited in the question :p). –  Damon Jul 3 '13 at 21:01
add comment

Integrous

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/integrous

http://www.allwords.com/word-integrous.html

It doesn't pass a spell-checker, but there are over 500,000 hits for it on Google, most of which are using it precisely as you defined.

share|improve this answer
    
heh i was gonna say "be integral" but that would mean.. be all in one piece? –  Claudiu Nov 16 '10 at 23:29
    
Where did those 496 500+ Google hits disappear to over the last two years? –  Edwin Ashworth Nov 7 '12 at 1:02
    
Interesting.. only ~87,000 now. Google's algorithm may have changed. –  Fosco Nov 7 '12 at 6:21
    
Integrous, integrious, and integre are all marked by the OED as both obsolete and rare. All their citations are from before 1700. I would use them with the utmost care. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 6 '13 at 20:09
    
I have heard integrous used often enough in conversation, and, whenever I use it, no one thinks twice about what I mean. The rule about knowing one's audience still applies, but I think that the word is safe to use. –  user61979 Jan 13 at 7:27
add comment

I don't know of an adjective form of integrity, so I can't solve your issue directly. However, depending on if your use case allows it, you might consider the phrase Have integrity. Obviously if you're trying to offer a set of parallel Be X statements, this won't work, but if you're looking for a concise two-word imperative sentence, I think it carries the meaning you're looking for.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Well, if you don't like what you have so far (Yahoo Answers' "there is no noun [sic!] with the same root, use 'upright'", or the many suggestions in that WordReference thread — "a good sort", "decent bloke", "a man of integrity", "a man of good character", "principled", "reasonable" and whatnot), then how about this:

Be a mensch.

Merriam-Webster defines mensch thusly:

a person of integrity and honor

Wiktionary even has a few cites:

  • 1960, The Apartment:
    Doctor Dreyfuss [to C. C. Baxter]: Be a mensch!

  • 2005, Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty, Bloomsbury Publishing, page 428:
    Lionel Kessler, relaxing perhaps on a Louis Quinze day bed, garlanded all round with lines of beauty, seeing welcome proof that his clever maligned young friend was a mensch.

  • 2008 December 28, George Solomon, “My Little Red Book”, The Washington Post, page D01:
    Olie Kolzig: Goalie for the Washington Capitals who spent most of 16 seasons between the pipes for the team until being released in 2008. Had the longest career of any Capital. Now plays for Tampa Bay. The ultimate mensch, in my book.
share|improve this answer
2  
This word has a lot of cultural connotations as well, which would make it equivalent to 'have integrity' only when spoken by and to a person who shares in the same cultural baggage. From the mouths of others, it will sound out of place. –  Raissa Apr 27 '12 at 5:13
    
@Raissa: Who are these "others" you speak of? Most people I know understand the term and its connotations implicitly. –  Robusto Dec 13 '13 at 20:50
add comment

Why limit the word to a form of "integrity" which from what I've seen is a bit sterile, when there are so many other words that convey the meaning so beautifully:

Be noble

Be upstanding

Be moral

Be without reproach

share|improve this answer
add comment

Looking in some dictionaries, it seems there is no such word. There is integer in German, though, and íntegro in Spanish, both of which have the intended meaning. English translations that come up are upright and honourable, but nothing like integer or integral or anything like that.

share|improve this answer
4  
Both integer and integral are perfectly good English words; it's just that their meaning isn't even remotely close to what the OP wants. –  Marthaª Nov 16 '10 at 18:16
    
You're right, I didn't explain that properly... –  cambraca Nov 16 '10 at 18:18
add comment

To directly answer your question, there is really no adjective for integrity. However, there are several that could capture the essence of the word, although not in its entirety.

Thus, a few examples are:

  • Be honest
  • Be true to yourself
  • Be upright
  • Be blameless
  • Be above reproach

Few, if any, however, are colloquial. My suggestion would be to select the word(s) (and there are many) that represent the aspect of integrity you deem most important for the occasion.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Be Ethical

Ethical - of or relating to moral principles or the branch of knowledge dealing with these.

Integrity - the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Depending on whom I was writing to or for, I might be brave enough to try 'intact'. 'John was a thoroughly intact individual, so I decided to trust the job to him'. The Latin 'intacta' means 'unimpaired'. The second meaning of 'integrity' in the ODE (not OED) is 'the state of being whole and undivided'. So my contention is that an honest person is an 'intact' person.

But then it would be just as quick to say 'As John was a man of integrity, I decided to trust the job to him'.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I use "integrity" with information a good deal. If information has integrity, it is "reliable" and/or "valid." For a person, I'd probably refer to them as "reliable" if they display integrity.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Integrated.

Not really the correct connotation when describing a person, but yeah. That's the adjective form of the noun "integrity."

share|improve this answer
add comment

integrious Variations of usage found in literature include integrous and integritous, also with similar meaning.

Wiktionary:

integrious (comparative more integrious, superlative most integrious)
(rare) Marked by integrity.
Howard is an integrious man because his values are congruent with and evident in his words, actions, personality and life.

Most importantly, Wiktionary cites the reference of
The Oxford English Dictionary 2nd Edition Volume VII.

Considering the marking "rare" along with the OED citation, it appears that it is (or was) an authentic word.

Found something on the Why We Need the word Integrious movement!

share|improve this answer
    
A GoogleFan myself, all I could find for integrious", integritous and integrous was ~193, ~284 and ~393 results in Books; 11100, 13600 and 31200 on the Web. –  Kris Nov 7 '12 at 7:18
add comment

While the use of the word "integrous" or "integrious" (variations of an adjective form of "integrity") is commonly used in spoken American English, especially in educational and professional forums, it is not commonly used in written American English - hence the lack of inclusion in dictionaries.

share|improve this answer
    
Hi @nfinney, welcome to EL&U! Your answer seems more of a comment since it doesn't answer the OP's question. You may consider editing your answer to address the question or delete your answer and add it as a comment. –  Kristina Lopez Feb 20 '13 at 19:02
    
@KristinaLopez: also it seems counter to all experience. I've never heard of either, and wouldn't recognize them if heard. –  Mitch Feb 20 '13 at 20:00
    
@Mitch, I hadn't heard of either either (wow! how often can you use 2 either's together?) until I read Kris' answer. (another Kris) –  Kristina Lopez Feb 20 '13 at 20:07
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.