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I'm looking for an appropriate word to describe someone who is a man of his word.

Trustworthy springs to mind but doesn't seem appropriate, as it doesn't imply an honorable connotation associated with a person who keeps their word.

  • 2
    By "a man his word" do you mean "a man of his word"? – Neil W Aug 2 '14 at 9:49
  • 1
    Reliable also works. noun: 1. a person or thing with trustworthy qualities. – Kris Aug 2 '14 at 10:44
  • Why not honorable? – bib Aug 2 '14 at 16:07
  • A man or woman can give their word: John: "I give you my word". Mark: "But will you be able to keep it."? It is only kept or not based on whether it was given. QED – Lambie Sep 5 '18 at 20:09
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My answer may seem worthless but I think it would be better if you use "a man of his word" (not "a man his word"). Or would 'truthful' be appropriate?

  • Wait till you earn the privilege to post comments. – Kris Aug 2 '14 at 10:40
  • Welcome to EL&U. I encourage you to peruse the help center for guidance on how to contribute. – choster Aug 2 '14 at 13:33
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A man of integrity.

according to ODO:

in·teg·ri·ty

noun 1. the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. "he is known to be a man of integrity" synonyms: honesty, probity, rectitude, honor, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness

The three-word term is a recognised collocation, almost a compound noun (12.4 m Google hits). The adjective 'integritous' does exist but is rarely used.

  • I really dislike “from Google”. It has no link and is not reproducible. Please use a real dictionary if you really think you must use one at all. – tchrist Aug 2 '14 at 16:13
  • The 'dictionary' provided by Google is, in my opinion, occasionally the best dictionary to refer to. I can read above exactly what I saw and desired to quote; that makes it reproducible. See if you get the same results from entering "integrity meaning" in a Google search if you wish to confirm my simple research. As for the implication that the use of a dictionary is somehow less than acceptable, it makes me think that you ought to re-examine the site ethos. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 2 '14 at 21:57
  • Come now, a man may keep his word and be a knave, utterly lacking in integrity but with honour among thieves. – Lambie Sep 5 '18 at 22:53
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Is there a reason "honorable" doesn't suit? especially since you seem to be looking for something with that kind of connotation specifically?

The two basic definitions I seem to find mean either 1. in keeping with that standard code of conduct called honorable (as in chivalry, or actions considered honorable in a specific group) OR 2. having and keeping their own code of conduct, consistently (keeping their given word, being responsible for their own actions)

The second definition is perfectly in line with your meaning, the first might have some additional connotations depending on the context you use it in and who gets to define 'honorable' in that context.

From Dictionary.com, honorable includes

  1. in accordance with or characterized by principles of honor; upright: They were all honorable men.
  2. of high rank, dignity, or distinction; noble, illustrious, or distinguished.
  3. worthy of honor and high respect; estimable; creditable.
  4. bringing honor or credit; consistent with honor.

The first mentions an outside standard of honor, the last two deal with self-consistency and reliability.

1

"True to his word"

According to the Cambridge Dictionaries-

true to your word: keeping a sincere promise:

True to his word, he paid back the money he borrowed from us.

Another expression would be "a man of his word", as has been pointed out already.

This Google N-Gram suggests that the phrase "true to his word" has been used quite frequently over the years, as compared to "a man of his word".

  • ... but this isn't a proper adjective. I mean, you can't place it in the sentence "He is a ____ man". – einpoklum Jun 18 '16 at 8:42
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An old-fashioned expression goes,

He's a man whose word is his bond.

The word bond is borrowed from the world of finance and insurance, and it concerns the guarantee of payments in the future, given certain criteria and circumstances which are laid out in a contract, or bond.

A man or woman who gives you their word (or guarantee) they will do something in the future is a man or woman whose word alone, and not an official-looking contract on a piece of paper, is sufficient, to guarantee their performance.

In other words, a person whose word is his bond is a person with whom you can forge an agreement by simply shaking hands to "seal the deal."

In a litigious society such as ours in the US, shaking hands to seal a deal is rarely heard of, since a written contract is more persuasive in a court of law when and if the agreement is breached.

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He's a real mensch. According to Merriam-Webster, a mensch is 'a person of integrity and honour.'

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mensch

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My two options closest to what you're after:

  1. faithful. From Merriam-Webster:

faithful implies unswerving adherence to a person or thing or to the oath or promise by which a tie was contracted

  1. steadfast

Now, or if you want to make sure that refers to the man's keeping his word, perhaps you could modify those and say steadfast in his word, faithful in his word or faithful to his word.

-1

A man or woman is said to give their word (about some subject). To give one's word means to promise.

Then, that man or woman will either keep their word or not keep it. That means they will respect the promise they made, or not. If they do not keep it, they have broken it.

And that's the long and short of this business.

And I take this opportunity to say that even a lowlife, criminal or scoundrel can give someone their word.

It has nothing to with whether a person is honest at his or her core. It depends on their relationship to the person to whom they have given their word.

In short, if you give your word, the question is: Are you going to keep it or not?

give someone's one word in Merriam Webster

protected by MetaEd Sep 5 '18 at 21:25

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