true

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English trewe, from Old English trīewe, (Mercian) trēowe (trusty, faithful), from Proto-Germanic *triwwiz (compare Dutch getrouw and trouw, German treu, Swedish trygg (safe, secure’), from pre-Germanic *dreu̯h₂i̯os, from Proto-Indo-European *druh₂, *dreu̯h₂ ‘steady, firm’ (compare Irish dearbh (sure), Old Prussian druwis (faith), Ancient Greek droós (firm)), extension of *dóru ‘tree’. More at tree.
For semantic development, compare Latin robustus (tough) from robur (red oak).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

true (comparative truer, superlative truest)

  1. (of a statement) Conforming to the actual state of reality or fact; factually correct.
    This is a true story.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 8, The Celebrity:
      The humor of my proposition appealed more strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for, and from that time forward she became her old self again; [] . Now she had come to look upon the matter in its true proportions, and her anticipation of a possible chance of teaching him a lesson was a pleasure to behold.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 20, The China Governess:
      The story struck the depressingly familiar note with which true stories ring in the tried ears of experienced policemen. No one queried it. It was in the classic pattern of human weakness, mean and embarrassing and sad.
    • 2013 July 20, “Old soldiers?”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8845: 
      Whether modern, industrial man is less or more warlike than his hunter-gatherer ancestors is impossible to determine. [] One thing that is true, though, is that murder rates have fallen over the centuries, as policing has spread and the routine carrying of weapons has diminished. Modern society may not have done anything about war. But peace is a lot more peaceful.
  2. Conforming to a rule or pattern; exact; accurate.
    a true copy;   a true likeness of the original
    • Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)
      making his eye, foot, and hand keep true time
  3. (logic) Of the state in Boolean logic that indicates an affirmative or positive result.
    "A and B" is true if and only if "A" is true and "B" is true.
  4. Loyal, faithful.
    He’s turned out to be a true friend.
  5. Genuine.
    This is true Parmesan cheese.
    • 2012 January 1, Henry Petroski, “The Washington Monument”, American Scientist, volume 100, number 1, page 16: 
      The Washington Monument is often described as an obelisk, and sometimes even as a “true obelisk,” even though it is not. A true obelisk is a monolith, a pylon formed out of a single piece of stone.
  6. Legitimate.
    The true king has returned!
  7. (of an aim or missile in archery, shooting, golf, etc.) Accurate; following a path toward the target.
    • 1801, Mrs. Cowley, “The siege of Acre”, The British Critic, volume 17-18‎, page 521: 
      Whate'er the weapon, still his aim was true, Nor e'er in vain the fatal bullet flew.
    • 2008, Carl Hiaasen, The downhill lie: a hacker's return to a ruinous sport, page 188:
      I held my breath and struck the ball. My aim was true, but I didn't give the damn thing enough gas. It died three feet from the cup.
  8. This word needs a definition. Please help out and add a definition, then remove the text {{rfdef}}.
    • 1990, William W. S. Wei, Time Series Analysis, ISBN 0201159112, page 8:
      Let Z_t be twice the value of a true die shown on the t-th toss.

Antonyms[edit]

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Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Adverb[edit]

true (not comparable)

  1. (of shooting, throwing etc) Accurately.
    • 2013 May-June, David Van Tassel, Lee DeHaan, “Wild Plants to the Rescue”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 3: 
      Plant breeding is always a numbers game. [] The wild species we use are rich in genetic variation, and individual plants are highly heterozygous and do not breed true. In addition, we are looking for rare alleles, so the more plants we try, the better.
    this gun shoots true

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

true

  1. Truth.
  2. The state of being in alignment.
    • 1904, Lester Gray French, Machinery, Volume 10:
      Some toolmakers are very careless when drilling the first hole through work that is to be bored, claiming that if the drilled hole comes out of true somewhat it can be brought true with the boring tool.
    • 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald, O Russet Witch! in Tales of the Jazz Age:
      She clapped her hands happily, and he thought how pretty she was really, that is, the upper part of her face—from the bridge of the nose down she was somewhat out of true.
    • 1988, Lois McMaster Bujold, Falling Free, Baen Publishing, ISBN 0-671-65398-9, page 96:
      The crate shifted on its pallet, out of sync now. As the lift withdrew, the crate skidded with it, dragged by friction and gravity, skewing farther and farther from true.
    • 1994, Bruce Palmer, How to Restore Your Harley-Davidson:
      The strength and number of blows depends on how far out of true the shafts are.

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Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

true (third-person singular simple present trues, present participle trueing or truing, simple past and past participle trued)

  1. To straighten.
    He trued the spokes of the bicycle wheel.
  2. To make even, level, symmetrical, or accurate, align; adjust.
    We spent all night truing up the report.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Often followed by up.

Derived terms[edit]

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Statistics[edit]