truth·​i·​ness | \ ˈtrü-thē-nəs How to pronounce truthiness (audio) \

Definition of truthiness

: a truthful or seemingly truthful quality that is claimed for something not because of supporting facts or evidence but because of a feeling that it is true or a desire for it to be true

Note: The Oxford English Dictionary provides evidence dating to the first half of the 19th century for the use of truthiness as a rare word synonymous with truthfulness. In its current sense, truthiness was coined and popularized by the American satirist Stephen Colbert, who first used it in 2005.

Whether it's blind bias in favor of one's own sports team, an insistence that Republicans rigged the 2004 election, 9/11 conspiracy theories or AIDS skepticism, [Farhad] Manjoo concluded that the feeling that something is true had, for many, become a substitute for actual evidence. It's what Stephen Colbert called "truthiness."— S. E. Cupp Our whole social environment and each of its overlapping parts—cultural, religious, political, intellectual, psychological—have become conducive to spectacular fallacy and truthiness and make-believe.— Kurt Andersen

First Known Use of truthiness

2005, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of truthiness was in 2005

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Cite this Entry

“Truthiness.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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