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From truthy +‎ -ness. Modern sense coined by American comedian Stephen Colbert 17 October 2005 on his show The Colbert Report.



truthiness (uncountable)

  1. (rare, archaic) Truthfulness. [from 19th c.]
    • 1824, Joseph John Gurney, “Amelia Opie”, in Memoirs of Joseph John Gurney[1], volume 1, Norwich: Fletcher and Alexander, published 1854, →OL, page 242:
      Truly may it be said, that her valuable qualities have been sanctified ; whilst her play of character has not been lost, but has been rendered more interesting than before. Every one who knows her is aware of her truthiness, and appreciates her kindness ; []
  2. (US, colloquial) Superficial or asserted truthfulness, without recourse to evidence. [from 21st c.]
    Synonyms: truthlikeness, verisimilitude
    • [2005 October 17, Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report, season 1, episode 1 (television production):
      'Cause you're looking at a straight-shooter, America. I tell it like it is. I calls 'em like I sees 'em. I will speak to you in plain simple English. And that brings us to tonight's word: truthiness.]
    • 2006 August/September, “Immigration now, immigration tomorrow, immigration forever: reason's guide to reality-based reform”, in Reason[2], Reason Foundation, →ISSN:
      Even in the halls of Congress, economic arguments against immigration are losing their aura of truthiness, so pro-enforcement types are focusing on national security.
    • 2013, Mary Roach, chapter 8, in Gulp:
      Like the contemporary urban myth, tales of stomach frogs and "bosom serpents" persisted because they have truthiness.
  3. (programming) The property of being truthy, i.e. evaluating to true in a Boolean context.
    • 2020, James Padolsey, Clean Code in JavaScript: Develop reliable, maintainable, and robust JavaScript, Packt Publishing Ltd, →ISBN, page 181:
      Usually, when you are receiving a Boolean value, you are most interested in checking its truthiness rather than its type.

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