Nearby words

  1. trudeau, pierre elliott,
  2. trudeaumania,
  3. trudge,
  4. trudgen,
  5. trudy,
  6. true ankylosis,
  7. true anomaly,
  8. true believer,
  9. true bill,
  10. true blue


    come true, to have the expected or hoped-for result; become a reality: She couldn't believe that her dream would ever come true.

Origin of true

before 900; Middle English trewe (adj. and adv.), Old English trēowe (adj.) loyal, trusty, honest (see trow, truce); akin to Dutch trouw, German treu, Old Norse tryggr, Gothic triggws

Related formstrue·ness, nounhalf-true, adjective

Synonym study

1. See real1. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for true

British Dictionary definitions for true


adjective truer or truest

not false, fictional, or illusory; factual or factually accurate; conforming with reality
(prenominal) being of real or natural origin; genuine; not synthetictrue leather
  1. unswervingly faithful and loyal to friends, a cause, etca true follower
  2. (as collective noun; preceded by the)the loyal and the true
faithful to a particular concept of truth, esp of religious trutha true believer
conforming to a required standard, law, or patterna true aim; a true fit
exactly in tunea true note
(of a compass bearing) according to the earth's geographical rather than magnetic polestrue north
biology conforming to the typical structure of a designated typesphagnum moss is a true moss, Spanish moss is not
physics not apparent or relative; taking into account all complicating factorsthe true expansion of a liquid takes into account the expansion of the container Compare apparent (def. 3)
not true informal unbelievable; remarkableshe's got so much money it's not true
true to life exactly comparable with reality


correct alignment (esp in the phrases in true, out of true)


truthfully; rightly
precisely or unswervinglyhe shot true
biology without variation from the ancestral typeto breed true

verb trues, truing or trued

(tr) to adjust so as to make true
Derived Formstrueness, noun

Word Origin for true

Old English triewe; related to Old Frisian triūwe, Old Saxon, Old High German triuwi loyal, Old Norse tryggr; see trow, trust

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

Word Origin and History for true



Old English triewe (West Saxon), treowe (Mercian) "faithful, trustworthy," from Proto-Germanic *trewwjaz "having or characterized by good faith" (cf. Old Frisian triuwi, Dutch getrouw, Old High German gatriuwu, German treu, Old Norse tryggr, Gothic triggws "faithful, trusty"), perhaps ultimately from PIE *dru- "tree," on the notion of "steadfast as an oak." Cf., from same root, Lithuanian drutas "firm," Welsh drud, Old Irish dron "strong," Welsh derw "true," Old Irish derb "sure."

Sense of "consistent with fact" first recorded c.1200; that of "real, genuine, not counterfeit" is from late 14c.; that of "agreeing with a certain standard" (as true north) is from c.1550. Of artifacts, "accurately fitted or shaped" it is recorded from late 15c.; the verb in this sense is from 1841. True-love (adj.) is recorded from late 15c.; true-born first attested 1590s. True-false as a type of test question is recorded from 1923.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with true


In addition to the idioms beginning with true

  • true blue
  • true colors
  • true to

also see:

  • come true
  • course of true love
  • dream come true
  • find true north
  • hold good (true)
  • ring false (true)
  • run (true) to form
  • too good to be true
  • tried and true
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.