When we ask ourselves what is honesty, it appears to be a superfluous question, sometimes even silly, as it is self-evident. But, if a child requires its meaning of us, we see some difficulty arises to explain to an ignorant child what we so clearly know. Further a reference to the dictionary is not found vastly helpful especially when we want to distinguish honesty from its dictionary meaning sincerity. To the dictionary honesty is sincerity and sincerity is honesty. Suppose we are serious in our quest and extend our inquiry to another word such as Truth the baffling continues. · Honesty, Sincerity, Truthfulness, Fairness, Fact and a few other words appear to be the same though they are essentially different. · A greater truth is; in our usage of these words, we are exact and precise. We never err even in the slight degree. · Then what are we after? · Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, which admits only known FACTS, not even originally valid research however valuable they are. · It is so because for knowledge it is essential to know facts precisely without a shade of ambiguity.
When there are two different words such as honesty and sincerity in the language it is because one is essentially and precisely different from the other. Always almost always one will be earlier known and the other later. As human comprehension expands or differs NEW words arise from the context. Impression is far from reality. An etymological dictionary may help, but not always. Oxford English Dictionary (O.E.D.) offers greater help as it offers copious historical example with dates. As they are earlier usages, there is not much of vagueness. But the final distinction must be arrived at only by the individual. The very confusion arises because of more than one shade of human understanding. Some words have an inner reference. Others refer to the outer circumstances. Still others have differing circumstances in different ages or countries. One such impreciseness arises when we want to distinguish between Truth and Fact. Truth is the objective status of the inner Spirit. Fact relates to the objective physical context. The definition of Truth is philosophical, that of fact is physical.
There are words like joy and pleasure having reference to feelings and physical sensation. Other words having an exactly same meaning as they come from different contexts or languages such as understanding and comprehension.