1530s, "pure, unmixed, unadulterated;" also "free from pretense or falsehood," from French sincere (16c.), from Latin sincerus, of things, "whole, clean, pure, uninjured, unmixed," figuratively "sound, genuine, pure, true, candid, truthful" (unadulterated by deceit), a word of uncertain origin.
There has been a temptation to see the first element as Latin sine "without." But there is no etymological justification for the common story that the word means "without wax" (*sin cerae), which is dismissed out of hand by OED, Century Dictionary ("untenable"), and others, and the stories invented to justify that folk etymology are even less plausible. Watkins has it as originally "of one growth" (i.e. "not hybrid, unmixed"), from PIE *sm-ke-ro-, from *sem- "one" (see same) + root of crescere "to grow" (from PIE root *ker- (2) "to grow"). De Vaan finds plausible a source in a lost adjective *caerus "whole, intact," from a PIE root meaning "whole."
early 15c., sincerite, "honesty, genuineness," from Old French sinceritie (early 16c., Modern French sincérité) and directly from Latin sinceritatem (nominative sinceritas) "purity, soundness, wholeness," from sincerus "whole, clean, uninjured," figuratively "sound, genuine, pure, true, candid, truthful" (see sincere).
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to grow."
It forms all or part of: accretion; accrue; cereal; Ceres; concrete; create; creation; creature; Creole; crescendo; crescent; crew (n.) "group of soldiers;" croissant; cru; decrease; Dioscuri; excrescence; excrescent; griot; increase; Kore; procerity; procreate; procreation; recreate; recreation; recruit; sincere.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek kouros "boy," korē "girl;" Latin crescere "come forth, spring up, grow, thrive, swell," Ceres, goddess of agriculture, creare "to bring forth, create, produce;" Armenian serem "bring forth," serim "be born."
1620s, "white, bright," from Latin candidum "white; pure; sincere, honest, upright," from candere "to shine" (from PIE root *kand- "to shine"). In English, the metaphoric extension to "frank, honest, sincere" is recorded by 1670s (compare French candide "open, frank, ingenuous, sincere"). Of photography, "not posed, informal," 1929. Related: Candidly; candidness.
"faithful," 1560s, not found in Middle English but apparently from Old French feal "faithful, loyal, true, sincere," collateral form of feeil, from Latin fidelis "loyal" (see fidelity).