yours truly

[ yoorz-troo-lee, yawrz ]
/ ˈyʊərz ˈtru li, ˈyɔrz /
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a conventional phrase used at the end of a letter.
Informal. I; myself; me: I'm only in business to profit yours truly.
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Origin of yours truly

First recorded in 1790–1800
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does yours truly mean?

Yours truly is a common phrase used to end a letter. Informally, yours truly is also used  as a synonym for I, me, or myself.

Yours truly is a conventional phrase that is used to politely end a letter. It is used in the same way as similar phrases, such as Sincerely or Best wishes. In most letters, it appears immediately above or before a person’s name or signature, as in: Dear Jeff, We are out of milk. Yours truly, Ben.

Some people may also use yours truly to end an email or similar message.

Informally, yours truly is used to refer to oneself. Often, this sense of yours truly is used humorously or playfully. It can be used in place of the words I, me, or myself, as in Nobody is better at failing tests than yours truly.

Example: If you need help, just ask yours truly.

Where does yours truly come from?

The first records of the letter-ending yours truly come from around 1790. It is made from a combination of the words yours and truly. It combines yours, meaning “that which belongs to you,” and truly, meaning “genuinely or honestly.”  The first records of the self-referencing sense come from around 1833.

Yours truly is used to close a letter, email, or similar communications. It’s one of many common closing phrases, such as yours sincerely, kind regards, or forever yours. While you might not want to close an email to your boss with forever yours, yours truly is appropriate no matter how well you know the person you’re writing to.

When used to refer to yourself, yours truly is not used in formal writing. You’ll find it most often in casual conversation and writing, often when someone is being playful or trying to call attention to themselves.

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What are some synonyms for yours truly?

What are some words that share a root or word element with yours truly

What are some words that often get used in discussing yours truly?

How is yours truly used in real life?

Yours truly is used to end letters and is used informally to refer to oneself.



Try using yours truly!

Is yours truly used correctly in the following sentence?

Everyone is coming over to my house to taste a delicious dinner made personally by yours truly.

How to use yours truly in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for yours truly

yours truly

an informal term for I, myself, or me

Word Origin for yours truly

from the conventional closing phrase used at the end of letters
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 yours truly

yours truly


A closing formula for a letter, as in It was signed “Yours truly, Mary Smith.” [Late 1700s]


I, me, myself, as in Jane sends her love, as does yours truly. [Colloquial; mid-1800s]

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