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noun, plural truths [troothz, trooths] /truðz, truθs/.
  1. the true or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth.
  2. conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.
  3. a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like: mathematical truths.
  4. the state or character of being true.
  5. actuality or actual existence.
  6. an obvious or accepted fact; truism; platitude.
  7. honesty; integrity; truthfulness.
  8. (often initial capital letter) ideal or fundamental reality apart from and transcending perceived experience: the basic truths of life.
  9. agreement with a standard or original.
  10. accuracy, as of position or adjustment.
  11. Archaic. fidelity or constancy.
  1. in truth, in reality; in fact; actually: In truth, moral decay hastened the decline of the Roman Empire.

Origin of truth

before 900; Middle English treuthe, Old English trēowth (cognate with Old Norse tryggth faith). See true, -th1
Related formstruth·less, adjectivetruth·less·ness, nounmis·truth, nounnon·truth, noun
Can be confusedtruism truth (see confusables note at truism)

Synonyms for truth

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Antonyms for truth

1. falsehood. 2, 4, 7. falsity.

Confusables note

See truism.


  1. So·journ·er [soh-jur-ner, soh-jur-ner] /ˈsoʊ dʒɜr nər, soʊˈdʒɜr nər/, Isabella Van Wagener, 1797?–1883, U.S. abolitionist, orator, and women's-rights advocate, born a slave. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for truth

Contemporary Examples of truth

Historical Examples of truth

  • The testimony of Pericles, Alcibiades, and Plato, confirmed the truth of his words.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • "In truth, my father, I wished to avoid the pain of parting," rejoined Philæmon.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Listen to the voice that tries to win you back to innocence and truth!


    Lydia Maria Child

  • But I got him too straight—let a drunken man alone for telling the truth when he's got it in him.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • In truth, it's amazing to take count of the Western men among us in all the professions.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for truth


  1. the quality of being true, genuine, actual, or factualthe truth of his statement was attested
  2. something that is true as opposed to falseyou did not tell me the truth
  3. a proven or verified principle or statement; factthe truths of astronomy
  4. (usually plural) a system of concepts purporting to represent some aspect of the worldthe truths of ancient religions
  5. fidelity to a required standard or law
  6. faithful reproduction or portrayalthe truth of a portrait
  7. an obvious fact; truism; platitude
  8. honesty, reliability, or veracitythe truth of her nature
  9. accuracy, as in the setting, adjustment, or position of something, such as a mechanical instrument
  10. the state or quality of being faithful; allegiance
Related formsRelated adjectives: veritable, veracious
Derived Formstruthless, adjective

Word Origin for truth

Old English triewth; related to Old High German gitriuwida fidelity, Old Norse tryggr true
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 truth

Old English triewð (West Saxon), treowð (Mercian) "faithfulness, quality of being true," from triewe, treowe "faithful" (see true), with Proto-Germanic abstract noun suffix *-itho (see -th (2)).

Meaning "accuracy, correctness" is from 1560s. Unlike lie (v.), there is no primary verb in English or most other IE languages for "speak the truth." Noun sense of "something that is true" is first recorded mid-14c.

Let [Truth] and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter. [Milton, "Areopagitica," 1644]

Truth squad in U.S. political sense first attested 1952. Truthiness "act or quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than those known to be true," catch word popularized in this sense by U.S. comedian Stephen Colbert, declared by American Dialect Society to be "2005 Word of the Year."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with truth


In addition to the idioms beginning with truth

  • truth is stranger than fiction
  • truth will out

also see:

  • gospel truth
  • home truth
  • moment of truth
  • naked truth
  • unvarnished truth
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.