[ trahyd-n-troo ]
/ ˈtraɪd nˈtru /
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tested and found to be reliable or workable.
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Origin of tried-and-true

First recorded in 1930–35

Words nearby tried-and-true

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does tried-and-true mean?

Tried-and-true is used to describe things that are known to work or be reliable due to having been tested or having worked many times before.

The term uses the sense of the word true meaning reliable and unfailing.

Tried-and-true is most often used to describe methods, tools, or other things that someone believes to be reliable because they’ve used many times before and they’ve always worked. It’s often used in situations in which someone wants to continue using the same method or tool they’ve been using to do something instead of trying something new that they’re unfamiliar with (even if it may work better).

It’s sometimes used without hyphens, as tried and true. However, if it’s used immediately before a noun, it’s usually hyphenated, as in a tried-and-true method for getting out stains. 

Example: Why should we try a new recipe for chocolate chip cookies when we could just stick to the one that’s tried-and-true and that we’ve used for years?

Where does tried-and-true come from?

The term tried-and-true has been used since at least the 1800s.

When something is described as tried-and-true, it means it’s been tried or used many times and has always worked. Tried-and-true is most commonly used to describe methods for doing things. It may be used in descriptions of products to make them sound reliable, especially products that have been sold for a long time without having been changed much or at all.

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What are some other forms related to tried-and-true?

  • tried and true (non-hyphenated form)

What are some synonyms for tried-and-true?

What are some words that share a root or word element with tried-and-true


What are some words that often get used in discussing tried-and-true?


How is tried-and-true used in real life?

Tried-and-true is typically used to describe reliable methods, tools, and products.



Try using tried-and-true!

Which of the following words is an antonym (opposite) for tried-and-true?

A. proven
B. unreliable
C. trustworthy
D. tested

How to use tried-and-true in a sentence

Other Idioms and Phrases with tried-and-true

tried and true

Tested and proved to be worthy or reliable, as in Let me deal with it—my method is tried and true. [Mid-1900s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.