[ troo ]
See synonyms for: truetruedtrueingtruer on

adjective,tru·er, tru·est.
  1. being in accordance with the actual state or conditions; conforming to reality or fact; not false: a true story.

  2. real; genuine; authentic: true gold; true feelings.

  1. sincere; not deceitful: a true interest in someone's welfare.

  2. firm in allegiance; loyal; faithful; steadfast: a true friend.

  3. being or reflecting the essential or genuine character of something: the true meaning of his statement.

  4. conforming to or consistent with a standard, pattern, or the like: a true copy.

  5. exact; precise; accurate; correct: a true balance.

  6. of the right kind; such as it should be; proper: to arrange things in their true order.

  7. properly so called; rightly answering to a description: true statesmanship.

  8. legitimate or rightful: the true heir.

  9. reliable, unfailing, or sure: a true sign.

  10. exactly or accurately shaped, formed, fitted, or placed, as a surface, instrument, or part of a mechanism.

  11. honest; honorable; upright.

  12. Biology. conforming to the type, norm, or standard of structure of a particular group; typical: The lion is a true cat.

  13. Animal Husbandry. purebred.

  14. Navigation. (of a bearing, course, etc.) determined in relation to true north.

  15. Archaic. truthful.

  1. exact or accurate formation, position, or adjustment: to be out of true.

  2. the true, something that is true; truth.

  1. in a true manner; truly; truthfully.

  2. exactly or accurately.

  1. in conformity with the ancestral type: to breed true.

verb (used with object),trued, tru·ing or true·ing.
  1. to make true; shape, adjust, place, etc., exactly or accurately: to true the wheels of a bicycle after striking a pothole.

  2. (especially in carpentry) to make even, symmetrical, level, etc. (often followed by up): to true up the sides of a door.

Idioms about true

  1. 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

synonym study For true

1. See real1.

Other words for true

Other words from true

  • trueness, noun
  • half-true, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use true in a sentence

  • The next effort of the poet is one of his masterpieces, wherein his inspiration is truest and most poetical.

    Frdric Mistral | Charles Alfred Downer
  • But in agreeable weather it is the truest hospitality to keep him out-of-doors.

    English: Composition and Literature | W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
  • Absolute confidence in his own beliefs was joined to truest personal humility, and made the prophet.

    The Life of Mazzini | Bolton King
  • Your father was the best and truest soldier that ever drew sword; and his memory stands unrivalled for loyalty and devotion.

  • It would be absurd to deny to very many of them the possession of the truest poetic inspiration.

British Dictionary definitions for true


/ (truː) /

adjectivetruer or truest
  1. not false, fictional, or illusory; factual or factually accurate; conforming with reality

  2. (prenominal) being of real or natural origin; genuine; not synthetic: true leather

    • unswervingly faithful and loyal to friends, a cause, etc: a true follower

    • (as collective noun; preceded by the): the loyal and the true

  1. faithful to a particular concept of truth, esp of religious truth: a true believer

  2. conforming to a required standard, law, or pattern: a true aim; a true fit

  3. exactly in tune: a true note

  4. (of a compass bearing) according to the earth's geographical rather than magnetic poles: true north

  5. biology conforming to the typical structure of a designated type: sphagnum moss is a true moss, Spanish moss is not

  6. physics not apparent or relative; taking into account all complicating factors: the true expansion of a liquid takes into account the expansion of the container Compare apparent (def. 3)

  7. not true informal unbelievable; remarkable: she's got so much money it's not true

  8. true to life exactly comparable with reality

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

  1. truthfully; rightly

  2. precisely or unswervingly: he shot true

  1. biology without variation from the ancestral type: to breed true

verbtrues, truing or trued
  1. (tr) to adjust so as to make true

Origin of true

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

Derived forms of true

  • trueness, noun

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

Other 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.