true

1 of 4

adjective

truer; truest
1
a(1)
: being in accordance with the actual state of affairs
true description
(2)
: conformable to an essential reality
(3)
: fully realized or fulfilled
dreams come true
c
: being that which is the case rather than what is manifest or assumed
the true dimension of the problem
d
: consistent
true to character
2
a
: properly so called
true love
the true faith
the true stomach of ruminant mammals
b(1)
: possessing the basic characters of and belonging to the same natural group as
a whale is a true but not a typical mammal
(2)
: typical
the true cats
3
b
c
archaic : truthful
4
: legitimate, rightful
our true and lawful king
5
a
: that is fitted or formed or that functions accurately
b
: conformable to a standard or pattern : accurate
6
: determined with reference to the earth's axis rather than the magnetic poles
true north
7
: logically necessary
8
: narrow, strict
in the truest sense
9
: corrected for error
trueness noun

true

2 of 4

adverb

1
: in accordance with fact or reality
2
a
: without deviation
the bullet flew straight and true
b
: without variation from type
breed true

true

3 of 4

noun

1
: truth, reality
usually used with the
2
: the quality or state of being accurate (as in alignment or adjustment)
used in the phrases in true and out of true

true

4 of 4

verb

trued; trueing also truing

transitive verb

: to make level, square, balanced, or concentric : bring or restore to a desired mechanical accuracy or form
true up a board
true up an engine cylinder

Examples of true in a Sentence

Adjective Indicate whether each of the following statements is true or false. If their predictions are true, we'll be in for a long winter. Is it true that you were planning to go without me? Jobs are scarce, and that is especially true for managers. The true cost proved to be much higher than they said it would be. His true character was revealed. the true meaning of the term Adverb The bullet traveled straight and true. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Despite changing times, Burnett & Sons prides itself on staying true to its original values. Hanh Truong, Sacramento Bee, 21 Feb. 2024 Brands need to be genuine in their interactions, transparent in their messaging and true to their values. Rafael Schwarz, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 Directed by Kim Sung-su and with a Korean gross exceeding $90 million, the action drama is based on true events in December 1979, which resulted in an eight-year military junta in South Korea. Patrick Frater, Variety, 21 Feb. 2024 With honorees from the across the globe, the 2024 Billboard Women in Music Awards are a true international affair. Kyle Denis, Billboard, 21 Feb. 2024 Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter two days after the finale aired, López waxes about the veritable true detectives who spent the past six weeks dissecting True Detective online, locating and unlocking massive pieces of the puzzle along the way. Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Feb. 2024 Indifference, Navalny believed, was Russia’s true enemy. Mary Ilyushina, Washington Post, 21 Feb. 2024 Slip them over your bathing suit for an easy transition from the beach to your next activity, or pair them with a simple tank for a true local look. Erin Johnson, Travel + Leisure, 21 Feb. 2024 Toby Keith refused, staying true to himself, and was rewarded. Nr Editors, National Review, 9 Feb. 2024
Adverb
O’Connor’s words rang true then and are perhaps even more important now. Paul S. Coakley, WSJ, 11 July 2022 That same principal holds true more broadly: The US has real material needs that could be met with better infrastructure for transportation, energy, and housing. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, 23 June 2022 This was the second unique compliment of the day, which rang true not only to Kim’s mythology of endless growth and expansion, but also to her whole family’s larger, cross-genre, and inter-disciplinary brand. Vogue, 22 Apr. 2022 Even Klotz noted his predictions came true faster than anyone expected, let alone him. Meghan M. Biro, Forbes, 20 Oct. 2021 But Valenzuela stuck true to her mission to blend the two cultures. Tirion Morris, The Arizona Republic, 18 July 2021 These arguments will not convince a true-believing textualist who is uninterested in a law's intent. Noah Feldman Bloomberg Opinion, Star Tribune, 6 Apr. 2021 Lindt Home of Chocolate in Kilchberg, Switzerland is making dreams come true worldwide with its new grandiose chocolate museum and breathtaking fountain. Sonia Ramirez, Houston Chronicle, 14 Sep. 2020 The words of former First Lady Michelle Obama rang true to many across America and around the world. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, 7 Aug. 2020
Noun
Nisolo’s take stay trues to the classic slip-on design but makes the style versatile enough to be dressed up and down, for your run to the bodega or date night at your favorite restaurant's outdoor patio. Men's Health, 17 Feb. 2023 Though it's targeted toward men's facial hair, this dye kit is safe to use on your brows and comes in a wide variety of true-to-you shades. Sophie Dweck, Town & Country, 8 Nov. 2022 Instead, there seemed to be an abundance of hubris and cult-like true-believing in the idea of a nuclear future in which the risk of a catastrophic accident was accepted, as a matter of doctrine, to be very low. Daniel Ford, The New Yorker, 13 Aug. 2022 The interactive dinosaur event features dozens of true-to-life size dinosaurs recreated with scales or skin with help from palentologists. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Jan. 2022 Scientists struggled to make sense of the creatures, and the sculptures were the first attempt to visualize them in true-to-life size. CNN, 25 Nov. 2021 Today in Milan, Dua Lipa not only opened and closed the Versace show in true-to-form bombshell fashion, but debuted a surprise hair transformation. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 24 Sep. 2021 This has dynamic crystal color with a fine crystal layer that reveals millions of true-to-life colors. Chris Hachey, BGR, 17 Aug. 2021 Dozens of true-to-size robo-dinos will roam the course, tilting their heads, opening their mouths and even appearing to breathe. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, 27 Nov. 2020
Verb
That’s true more broadly, as well, in part because of how the issue has been litigated. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, 3 Aug. 2017 True the Vote itself has struggled to keep up momentum from the Obama era. Mark Berman, Washington Post, 30 June 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'true.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English trewe, from Old English trēowe faithful; akin to Old High German gitriuwi faithful, Old Irish derb sure, and probably to Sanskrit dāruṇa hard, dāru wood — more at tree entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Noun

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1838, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of true was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near true

Cite this Entry

“True.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/true. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

true

1 of 4 adjective
truer; truest
1
: completely loyal : faithful
2
a
: agreeing with the facts : accurate
a true description
b
: consistent sense 2
true to character
3
: fully realized or fulfilled
dreams come true
4
: properly so called : genuine
lichens have no true stems
true love
5
: placed or formed accurately : exact
true pitch
6
: being or holding by right : legitimate
the true owner

true

2 of 4 noun
: the quality or state of being accurate (as in adjustment)
used in the phrases in true and out of true

true

3 of 4 verb
trued; trueing also truing
: to bring to exactly correct condition as to place, position, or shape
true up a board

true

4 of 4 adverb
1
: in agreement with fact : truthfully
2
: in an accurate manner : accurately
the arrow flew straight and true
3
: without variation from type
breed true
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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