When we think of honesty, we think of truthfulness, sincerity, or integrity. However, there are many degrees to something or someone being completely honest. It is a part of our human nature to adapt our version of honesty to fit into the categories we need it to in our lives. Everyone has their own way of telling their version of the truth as they see fit.
Some of the ways that honesty could be viewed as different than the dictionary definition are as follows. A person could be honest in an attempt to accomplish something but if a failure could be seen as being dishonest in their attempt. We could say that they did not give it their all and therefore did not truthfully attempt what they set out to do. Also we go to many extremes when telling someone we love the truth about something. Who has not at some point and time in their life stretched the truth in an attempt to protect the ones we love.
It is not that we lied exactly, we just did not tell the whole truth. We told what we considered would be the best way of not hurting the ones we love with the complete truth.
We, as humans in general, tell little white lies as a part of our survival instinct. By this I mean that if we found ourselves in a situation where we had to rely on our wits, we would do anything to survive, including lie, cheat, and kill. While we think that we could not do these things for we do not have the heart to do so, I think that if it came down to it in all honesty for us to stay alive then we would use any means necessary to do so.