Definition of true in English:

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Pronunciation: /truː/

adjective (truer, truest)

1In accordance with fact or reality: a true story of course it’s true that is not true of the people I am talking about
More example sentences
  • What is true of the theatre is also true of the short story.
  • This is most true of the opening stories in the collection, but also occurs at intervals throughout the book.
  • I now know that some of his Cabinet colleagues know the facts and the true story behind this issue.
accurate, correct, verifiable, faithful, literal, veracious;
in accordance with reality, what actually/really happened, the case, so;
unelaborated, unvarnished
informal as true as I'm sitting/standing here
1.1 [attributive] Rightly or strictly so called; genuine: people are still willing to pay for true craftsmanship we believe in true love
More example sentences
  • The Buddha discovered that the genuine, true thing we keep looking for isn't there at all.
  • I consider that the Family Court does not have true and genuine evidence to support their decision.
  • This was the search for the genuine goal and true essence or martial arts on which he spent most of his time.
genuine, authentic, real, actual, proper, veritable;
Latin bona fide
informal honest-to-goodness, kosher, pukka, legit, the real McCoy, regular
Australian/New Zealand informal dinkum
rightful, legitimate, legal, lawful, authorized, recognized, valid;
Latin bona fide;
Law  de jure
sincere, genuine, real, unfeigned, unpretended, unaffected, heartfelt, from the heart
1.2 [attributive] Real or actual: he has guessed my true intentions
More example sentences
  • It dealt with some of the real, true issues of what this Government is really all about.
  • Statements to the press are now the key in determining true intentions.
  • Yet this is not an actual or true experience, because it does not recur the next day or anytime soon.
1.3Said when conceding a point: true, the house faced north, but you got used to that
More example sentences
  • It was true, they conceded, that many people in Brecon went elsewhere for some of their shopping.
  • It was true that Markhus's house was the closest of the three, and school did start in a matter of hours.
  • I entered the house and true enough both of my parents were in the living room.
2Accurate or exact: it was a true depiction
More example sentences
  • They're working hard at trying to redress all of this and come to a true, exact count.
  • They are not, however, true or accurate representations of either the West or the East.
  • Introducing the members of his team and the cast at a function, Bala said that the film would depict love in its true sense.
2.1(Of a note) exactly in tune.
Example sentences
  • To Joachim, and to all his predecessors, a true C-sharp would have been lower than D-flat; a major third on the piano would be too wide.
  • On the piano this black note is an ‘enharmonic,’ which means its tone is a compromise between true C-sharp and true D-flat.
  • The Burmese F is sharper than F natural, and yet is not the true F sharp; while B is also sharper than the European B natural.
2.2(Of a compass bearing) measured relative to true north: steer 085 degrees true
More example sentences
  • So, to travel 45 degrees true in that area, you'd steer 61 degrees on the compass.
  • Your right arm is now pointing to South or 180 degrees True.
  • The incorrect orientation occurs when the antennas are oriented at 10 degrees true north when they should have been oriented at 0 degrees true north.
2.3Correctly positioned, balanced, or aligned; upright or level.
Example sentences
  • It will lead to a displacement of the user positioning solution from the true position.
  • Only then could I feel confident and proud that my aim was true, and that I was indeed a great hunter.
  • In both directions, the bubble stayed exactly in the middle so I knew that this edge of the level was true.
3Loyal or faithful: he was a true friend
More example sentences
  • He was faithful, true, a loyal friend, a good son, and he was wise beyond his years.
  • She is remembered as a devoted family woman and a true and loyal friend.
  • You have made an oath and a pledge that you will be a faithful, true and loyal citizen of the United Kingdom.
loyal, faithful, true-hearted, devoted, dedicated, staunch, true-blue, constant, unswerving, unwavering;
trustworthy, trusty, reliable, dependable, firm, steady, dutiful, supportive
3.1 (true to) Accurately conforming to (a standard or expectation); faithful to: this entirely new production remains true to the essence of Lorca’s play
More example sentences
  • This fresh and stylish production remains true to that spirit and is well worth looking out for.
  • Will had indeed stayed true to his promise and brought around his music for me to use.
  • People start to understand almost instinctively what they do which is true to them.
in keeping with, consistent with, in harmony with, in accord with, in accordance with, in agreement with, in line with, in character with, compatible with, congruent with, commensurate with;
appropriate to, befitting, as befits, suitable for, suited to
4chiefly archaic Honest: we appeal to all good men and true to rally to us
More example sentences
  • He is decent and honest and true, which cannot be said of many of his critics.
  • And to hold up the Virgin Mary as the only example of a true, honest woman and to show this as the ideal can not be right.
  • If you make something special and powerful and honest and true, you will succeed.


1chiefly literary Truly: Hobson spoke truer than he knew
More example sentences
  • He spoke truer than he knew, or else he had foreseen the course of events.
  • By my faith, he may find that he spoke truer than he is aware of.
  • Adam Smith never spoke truer than when he said: "Work is done in the workplace, but the real business of life is usually accomplished while entertaining".
truthfully, honestly, sincerely, candidly, frankly, truly, veraciously
2Accurately or without variation.
Example sentences
  • Despite the distance and the wind, Hooper had aimed true.
  • But Martin had played true.
accurately, unerringly, unswervingly, without deviating

verb (trues, truing or trueing, trued)

[with object]
Bring (an object, wheel, or other construction) into the exact shape or position required: the bench sander is ideal for truing up faces of timber
More example sentences
  • He begins the laborious process by truing the radius of the front strap and then meticulously laying out line after line of the finely cut checkering.
  • The five-head molder first trues a piece of lumber, then the counter-rotating side heads and top/bottom heads fashion the molding exactly as the machine has been set up to do.
  • Fabric layers shift while sewing and cutting, so once you've trimmed and trued the edges, the chenille may be smaller than your pattern pieces.



come true

Actually happen or become the case: dreams can come true
More example sentences
  • It promises to be a magical event where dreams actually will come true on the night.
  • Dreams that I had as a little kid are actually coming true, and it's all thanks to you.
  • The irony of it all was that my joke could actually be coming true!
be fulfilled, be realized, become a reality, happen, occur, take place
literary come to pass

out of true (or the true)

Not in the correct or exact shape or alignment: take care not to pull the frame out of true
More example sentences
  • ‘What is the ‘cataclysm’ but the artist's own energy - some deviant energy which blows apart the world's habitual shapes, dislocates things out of true, only to imbue the remaining fragments with a new intensity.
  • Knowledge needs always to pass through this detour of selfless tact, whereby its forms are bent out of true by the shapes of what refuses its clutch.
  • My back wheel's out of true; my front brake makes weird sounds; my seat is tilted and uncomfortable.
askew, skew, at an angle, lopsided, crooked, tilting, tilted, atilt, dipping, out of line;
at a slant, on the slant, at an angle, not straight, sloping, slanting, slanted, slantwise, slant, oblique, leaning, inclining, inclined, angled, cambered, canted;
Scottish  squint

many a true word is spoken in jest

proverb A humorous remark not intended to be taken seriously may turn out to be accurate after all.
Example sentences
  • Whether it was by jest, or not many a true word is spoken in jest and often people get upset precisely for that reason.
  • The trouble is, many a true word is spoken in jest, and right now we seem to be somewhere between stages 1 and 2.
  • This piece hits the nail on the head and proves that many a true word is spoken in jest.

true as Bob (or God)

South African informal Absolutely true: true as Bob, I nearly went right through the windscreen
Bob represents a euphemistic substitution of God, the idiom translating obsolete Afrikaans so waar as God
More example sentences
  • And as true as Bob, that evening my dream continued, I had the chocolate and ate it.
  • But true as Bob, I have never received any traffic violation in my life.
  • She is in Grade 4, had no problems what so ever learning the 2, 3, 4, 5, 11 and 10 x table, but true as bob as soon as we had to start with the 6 x table, trouble started brewing!

true to form (or type)

Being or behaving as expected: true to type, they took it well
More example sentences
  • He, true to form, behaves like a cad and leaves her for the gambling tables and his deserved fate.
  • Ultimately, and true to form, the woman is portrayed as the weaker sex.
  • The whole centre is in need of regeneration and, as true to form, it is the private investor that sets the standard.

true to life

Accurately representing real events or objects: this story is true to life
More example sentences
  • Thus the poses of figures plucked out of the calligraphic scribble were understood by drawing from models; they are real but set up, lifelike but not necessarily true to life.
  • All that Schoenberg did, in a sense, was take it further, make it ‘realer’, more true to life, more honest - hence more genuinely artistic.
  • And I have the idea they are more realistic, true to life.



Example sentences
  • Of course, he does not remain faithful to all of the principles contained therein, however much he repeatedly emphasizes his trueness and constancy, but the essential goals remain the same.
  • This film was brilliant in its trueness to the story.
  • Of the heavy silence, she thinks it is part of the trueness of their love.


Old English trēowe, trȳwe 'steadfast, loyal'; related to Dutch getrouw, German treu, also to truce.

  • From the same root as truce (Middle English) and truth, this originally meant ‘loyal or steadfast’. Over time this gradually led to the idea of being reliable or honest, and then to that of truthfulness. The idea behind many a true word is spoken in jest is found in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in the late 14th century, but the modern form of the proverb first appeared in print in the 17th century.

Words that rhyme with true

accrue, adieu, ado, anew, Anjou, aperçu, askew, ballyhoo, bamboo, bedew, bestrew, billet-doux, blew, blue, boo, boohoo, brew, buckaroo, canoe, chew, clew, clou, clue, cock-a-doodle-doo, cockatoo, construe, coo, Corfu, coup, crew, Crewe, cru, cue, déjà vu, derring-do, dew, didgeridoo, do, drew, due, endue, ensue, eschew, feu, few, flew, flu, flue, foreknew, glue, gnu, goo, grew, halloo, hereto, hew, Hindu, hitherto, how-do-you-do, hue, Hugh, hullabaloo, imbrue, imbue, jackaroo, Jew, kangaroo, Karroo, Kathmandu, kazoo, Kiangsu, knew, Kru, K2, kung fu, Lahu, Lanzhou, Lao-tzu, lasso, lieu, loo, Lou, Manchu, mangetout, mew, misconstrue, miscue, moo, moue, mu, nardoo, new, non-U, nu, ooh, outdo, outflew, outgrew, peekaboo, Peru, pew, plew, Poitou, pooh, pooh-pooh, potoroo, pursue, queue, revue, roo, roux, rue, Selous, set-to, shampoo, shih-tzu, shoe, shoo, shrew, Sioux, skean dhu, skew, skidoo, slew, smew, snafu, sou, spew, sprue, stew, strew, subdue, sue, switcheroo, taboo, tattoo, thereto, thew, threw, thro, through, thru, tickety-boo, Timbuktu, tiramisu, to, to-do, too, toodle-oo, true-blue, tu-whit tu-whoo, two, vendue, view, vindaloo, virtu, wahoo, wallaroo, Waterloo, well-to-do, whereto, whew, who, withdrew, woo, Wu, yew, you, zoo

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: true

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