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 Senate has confirmed Jeh Johnson, once the Pentagon’s top lawyer, to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Johnson brings a sharp legal mind and reputation for probity to the job.” — From an editorial in The New York Times, December 26, 2013
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.