Upright, honest, just, conscientious, scrupulous, honorable are comparable when they are applied to men or their acts and words and mean having or exhibiting a strict regard for what is morally right.
Upright implies manifest rectitude and an uncompromising adherence to high moral principles.
Honest implies a recognition of and strict adherence to solid virtues (as truthfulness, candor, respect for others’ possessions, sincerity, and fairness).
It is more widely applicable than upright which often implies independence of spirit and self-mastery and which is therefore referable chiefly to thoughtful and highly disciplined men.
Honest , on the other hand, may be used in reference to the ignorant as well as the learned, and to the simple as well as the wise.
Just (see also FAIR ) may stress conscious choice and regular practice of what is right or equitable.
Conscientious and scrupulous both imply an active moral sense which governs all one’s actions.
Conscientious stresses painstaking efforts to follow that guide at all costs, especially in one’s observance of the moral law or in the performance of one’s duty.
Scrupulous (see also CAREFUL 2 ), on the other hand, implies either anxiety in obeying strictly the dictates of conscience or meticulous attention to the morality of the details of conduct as well as to the morality of one’s ends.
Honorable (see also HONORABLE 1 ) implies the guidance of a high sense of honor or of a sense of what one should do in obedience not only to the dictates of conscience but to the demands made by social position or office, by the code of his profession, or by the esteem in which he is held.