The derivation of the word sincerely actually dates back to ancient times and the practice of making sculpture. It was not uncommon for the marble to be chipped or cracked while it was being sculpted, and in order to make the form perfect, hot wax was poured into the crevices to fill them up. When the surface was polished, the wax became indistinguishable from the rest of the marble and the sculpture appeared to be perfect.

For all intents and purposes, the solution was unnoticeable unless people placed the sculpture outside or in a garden. The sun would melt the wax, and the flaws would be revealed. People were furious that they were paying so much money for statues which turned out to be flawed. They demanded that they be sold only true, flawless works of art. This led to vendors advertising their wares as being without wax, or in the language of the time, sine cere. In the same vein*, if a person is not hiding anything or covering up the truth, they are considered to be sincere.

*Ha! A marble joke! I kill me!

Sin*cere" (?), a. [Compar. Sincerer (?); superl. Sincerest.] [L. sincerus, of uncertain origin; the first part perhaps akin to sin- in singuli (see Single), and the second to cernere to separate (cf. Discern): cf. F. sincere.]

1.

Pure; unmixed; unadulterated.

There is no sincere acid in any animal juice. Arbuthnot.

A joy which never was sincere till now. Dryden.

2.

Whole; perfect; unhurt; uninjured.

[Obs.]

The inviolable body stood sincere. Dryden.

3.

Being in reality what it appears to be; having a character which corresponds with the appearance; not falsely assumed; genuine; true; real; as, a sincere desire for knowledge; a sincere contempt for meanness.

A sincere intention of pleasing God in all our actions. Law.

4.

Honest; free from hypocrisy or dissimulation; as, a sincere friend; a sincere person.

The more sincere you are, the better it will fare with you at the great day of account. Waterland.

Syn. -- Honest; unfeigned; unvarnished; real; true; unaffected; inartificial; frank; upright. See Hearty.

 

© Webster 1913.

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