Language: Old English
Origin: treowe 'faithful'


1 adjective
true1 S1 W1

not false

based on facts and not imagined or invented [≠ false; ↪ truly, truth]
it is true (that)
It's not true that I'm going to marry him.
No, honestly, it's a true story.
Students decide if statements are true or false.
true of
The same is true of all political parties.
true for
This is especially true for old people.
It's generally true to say that fewer people are needed nowadays.
The results appear to hold true (=still be correct) for other countries.

➔ too good to be true

at good1 (24)

; ➔ not ring true

at ring2 (5)


[only before noun] the true nature of something is its real nature, which may be hidden or not known [= real]
true value/cost etc (of something)
The house was sold for only a fraction of its true value.
We need to understand the true extent of the problem.
true nature/meaning/identity etc (of something)
She wasn't aware of the true nature of their relationship.
She managed to conceal her true feelings.
After a couple of days she showed her true self (=real character).

admitting something

especially spoken used when you are admitting that something is correct, but saying that something else, often opposite, is also correct:
'He's very hard-working.' 'True, but I still don't think he's the right man for the job.'
it is true (that)
It is true that there have been improvements in some areas.


[only before noun] having all the qualities which a type of thing or person should have:
The heroine finally finds true love.
She's been a true friend to me.
It's an amateur sport in the true sense of the word (=with the exact meaning of this word).

come true

if wishes, dreams etc come true, they happen in the way that someone has said or hoped that they would:
The prediction seems to have come true.

➔ be a dream come true

at dream1 (5)


faithful and loyal to someone, whatever happens
true to
Throughout the whole ordeal, she remained true to her husband.

true to form/type

used to say that someone is behaving in the bad way that you expect them to:
True to form, Henry turned up late.

true to your word/principles etc

behaving in the way you said you would or according to principles which you believe in:
He was true to his word and said nothing about it to Lisa.

true to life

also true-to-life a book, play, description etc that is true to life seems very real and natural [= realistic]:
The film is frighteningly true-to-life and very funny.

(all/only) too true

used to say that you know something is true, when you do not like it:
'It's not as easy as it looks.' 'Too true!'
It is only too true that people are judged by their accents.


[not before noun] technical fitted, placed, or formed in a way that is perfectly flat, straight, correct etc:
If the door's not true, it won't close properly.

somebody's aim is true

if your aim is true, you hit the thing that you were throwing or shooting at

your true colours

if you show your true colours, you do something which shows what your real attitudes and qualities are, especially when they are bad
show/reveal your true colours
He was forced to reveal his true colours when asked how he would vote.

(there's) many a true word spoken in jest

old-fashioned used to say that when people are joking they sometimes say things that are true and important

Dictionary results for "true"
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