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[haf-trooth, hahf-] /ˈhæfˌtruθ, ˈhɑf-/
noun, plural half-truths
[haf-trooth z, hahf-] /ˈhæfˌtruðz, ˈhɑf-/ (Show IPA)
a statement that is only partly true, especially one intended to deceive, evade blame, or the like.
a statement that fails to divulge the whole truth.
Origin of half-truth
First recorded in 1650-60 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for half-truth
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was only a half-truth, but it sufficed to account for what was really a campaign of conquest.

    The Price Francis Lynde
  • Billy's denial, his hesitation, his half-truth all looked suspicious to him.

    Blazed Trail Stories Stewart Edward White
  • It is because the whole truth is so difficult to disengage here that it looked like the half-truth.

    The Honour of the Clintons Archibald Marshall
  • But the statement is happily only the half-truth, which is almost a complete falsehood.

  • The half-truth is—that Bettina loves me, and that I must not break her heart.

    Glory of Youth Temple Bailey
  • He may tell a half-truth and obscure the rest by his brevity.

    The Bbur-nma in English Babur, Emperor of Hindustan
  • Of course, it would be but a half-truth to assert that the order places all its emphasis on the sober problems of education.

    Chapters in Rural Progress Kenyon L. Butterfield
  • This is a good basis for finding a half-truth in Bburs statement.

    The Bbur-nma in English Babur, Emperor of Hindustan
British Dictionary definitions for half-truth


a partially true statement intended to mislead
Derived Forms
half-true, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for half-truth

1650s, from half + truth.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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