" true, a. (n., adv.)
Forms: α. 1 (ᴁe)tríewe), 1–3 tréowe, 1–4 trýwe, 3 treouwe, 3–4 triwe, 3–7 trewe, trew, 4–7 treu, 5 treewe, triew(e. β. 3 (Orm.) trowwe, 5 trowe, 5–6 trow; 5 traw. γ. 3–5 truwe, 4–5 trwe, 4–7 tru, 6 trw, 5– true.
[OE. (strict WS. (ᴁe)tríewe, commonly) tréowe (ME. also truwe) = OS. (gi)trûui, OEFris. triuwe, OWFris. trouwe, (MDu. (ghe)trûwe, (ghe)trouwe, Du. getrouw), OHG. (ga)triuwu, (Ger. treu), ON. tryggr, Goth. triggws; repr. WGer. *trewwj-, lit. ‘having or characterized by good faith’, deriv. of the n. which is represented by OE. tréow, trúw, OHG. triuwa, Goth. triggwa faith, covenant: see truce.]
1. a.A.1.a Of persons: Steadfast in adherence to a commander or friend, to a principle or cause, to one's promises, faith, etc.; firm in allegiance; faithful, loyal, constant, trusty. Somewhat arch.
a 1000 St. Guthlac 1269 (Gr.) Se wuldormaᴁo‥spræc‥to his treowum ᴁesiðe. c 1205 Lay. 8851 Mildeliche spæc þus Þe treowe cniht Androgeus. c 1250 Hymn Virg. 2 in Trin. Coll. Hom. App. 257 Þu ert leuedi swuþe treowe‥Þi loue is euer iliche neowe. 1303 R. Brunne Handl. Synne 2320 May y þan trust to þy sawe Þat þou be now my trew felawe? 1388 Wyclif Luke xvi. 10 He that is trewe in the leeste thing, is trewe also in the more. 1450–80 tr. Secreta Secret. 19 Kepe wel thi feith and thi word euermore‥gret worshipe vnto hem þat so trewe are founden in here feith. 1476 Surtees Misc. (1888) 35 To all trewe Christen men. a 1533 Ld. Berners Huon xcv. 307 Ye haue done as a trew subjet ought to do to his lorde. 1646 Hamilton Papers (Camden) 119 Your Grace's humblest truest seruant, R. Moray. 1821 Shelley Bridal Song i, Never smiled the inconstant moon On a pair so true. 1847 Tennyson Princess iv. 80 Bright and fierce and fickle is the South, And dark and true and tender is the North.
b.A.1.b transf. of personal attributes or actions. Somewhat arch.; often passing into sense 2 or 5.
a 800 [see true-love 1]. c 1200 Ormin Introd. 69 Trigg & trowwe griþþ & friþþ. c 1275 Passion our Lord 45 in O.E. Misc. 38 Alle men he tauhte to holde treowe luue Erest to god almyhti. 13‥ Cursor M. 4422 (Gött.) Ille es þe quit þi treu seruis. 1454 Cal. Anc. Rec. Dublin (1889) 281 That they shall do trewe execucion. c 1560 A. Scott Poems (S.T.S.) ix. 14 Ane trewar hairt may no man haif. 1667 Milton P.L. iii. 104 What proof could they have givn‥Of true allegiance? 1832 Tennyson Miller's Dau. 216 Round my true heart thine arms entwine.
c.A.1.c Const. to (in early use with simple dative).
Beowulf (Z.) 1165 Æᴁ-hwylc oðrum trywe. c 1200 Ormin 6177 Þin laferrd birrþ þe buhsumm beon & hold & trigg & trowwe. c 1350 Will. Palerne 596 And be tristy and trew to ȝow for euer-more. c 1400 Trevisa's Higden (Rolls) V. 447 (MS. γ) Þanne doo as þou hast byhote, and be truwe [v.r. trewe] to hym þat so haþ þe i-holpe. a 1450 Knt. de la Tour (1906) 97, Y haue founde you‥not true vnto me. 1583 B. Melbancke Philotimus E e j, I will bee as true to thee as the begger to his dishe. 1602 Shakes. Ham. i. iii. 78 This aboue all; to thine owne selfe be true:‥Thou canst not then be false to any man. 1678 Wanley Wond. Lit. World v. ii. §82. 472/2 A Prince more just and true to his word. a 1721 Prior Song ‘Still, Dorinda’ iv, To my vows I have been true. 1849 Macaulay Hist. Eng. ii. I. 258 Hyde had been true to his Tory opinions. 1855 Ibid. xi. III. 1 True‥to the cause of civil freedom.
d.A.1.d fig. of things: Reliable; constant; †sure, secure (obs.).
c 1205 [see truly 1 b]. c 1330 R. Brunne Chron. (1810) 73 Þe pes to ȝeme & gyue with lawes trewe als stele. c 1425 Cursor M. 59 (Trin.) For whenne þou wenest hit trewest [v.r. truyst] to be, Þou shalt from hit or hit from þe. a 1733 Barton Booth Song, ‘Sweet are the charms of her I love’ ii, True as the Needle to the Pole, Or as the Dial to the Sun. 1791 Cowper Iliad vi. 60 Steel Of truest temper. 1872 D. Greenwell Liber Hum. (1875) 209 To the rock the root adheres, In every fibre true.
2.A.2 In more general sense: Honest, honourable, upright, virtuous, trustworthy (arch.); free from deceit, sincere, truthful (cf. 3 d); of actions, feelings, etc., sincere, unfeigned (now passing into or merged in 5). See also trueman.
a 1012 Laws of Ethelred iii. c. 9 Buton he habbe tweᴁra trywra manna ᴁewitnesse. c 1200 Vices & Virt. 45 Be trewe mann and halt tin god. a 1225 Ancr. R. 2 Þeos riwle is cherité of schir heorte and cleane inwit, and trewe bileaue. 1297 R. Glouc. (Rolls) 859 Men triwest [v.r. trewest] we [v.r. me] seþ And best me mai to hom truste þat of lest wordes beþ. c 1380 Wyclif Eng. Wks. (1880) 321 As lif of a trew plow man‥is betere preyere to god þen preyere of any ordre þat god loueþ lesse. c 1385 Chaucer L.G.W. 464 (Balade) A trewe man‥Hath nat to parte with a theuys dede. 1446 Lydg. Two Night. Poems ii. 69 Triewe meanyng rooted so withynne, Fer from the conceyte of any maner synne. c 1460 Fortescue Abs. & Lim. Mon. xiii. (1885) 141, iij. or iiij. theves‥haue sett apon vj. or vij. trewe men, and robbed hem all. 1484 Caxton Fables of Alfonce ii, He is‥reputed‥for a good man and trewe. 1599 Shakes. Much Ado i. i. 27 There are no faces truer, then those that are so wash'd, how much better is it to weepe at ioy, then to ioy at weeping? 1611 Bible Gen. xlii. 11 We are true men: thy seruants are no spies. c 1614 Sir W. Mure Dido & Æneas i. 715 Her waxen heart, touch't with a trew remorse. 1710 Addison Tatler No. 250 ⁋8 Good Men and true for a Petty Jury. 1847 Helps Friends in C. I. 8 A true man does not think what his hearers are feeling, but what he is saying. 1865 Dickens Mut. Fr. iii. v, Your own father has not a truer interest in you.
3. a.A.3.a Of a statement or belief: Consistent with fact; agreeing with the reality; representing the thing as it is.
c 1205 Lay. 4443 Belin ihærde sugge Þurh summe sæȝ treowe Of his broðer wifðinge. 1382 Wyclif John xxi. 24 We witen, for [1388 that] his witnessing is trewe. 1393 Langl. P. Pl. C. i. 100 Al þe world wot wel hit myȝte nat be trywe. c 1489 Caxton Sonnes of Aymon xvii. 396 ‘Syr, wyte that charlemagne is come wyth his oost’.‥ ‘Is it true?’ said mawgis. a 1529 Skelton Dk. Albany 4 These tidinges newe Whiche be as trewe As the gospell. a 1584 Montgomerie Cherrie & Slae 1018, I‥Thocht all thair tales was trew. 1608 Willet Hexapla Exod. 839 The truer opinion. 1710 Bingham Chr. Antiq. xx. vii. §10 The fact was too true, and the charge too well-grounded, to be denied of them all in general. 1759 Johnson Rasselas xlvii, The same proposition cannot be at once true and false. 1858 Lardner Handbk. Nat. Phil., etc. 16 This will be true, however shallow the vessel‥and however narrow the tube.
b.A.3.b Often in phr. it is true (also inverted, true it is), introducing a statement; also ellipt. or interjectionally, true, introducing or in reply to a statement; usually in concessive sense: = truly, verily, certainly, doubtless.
1594 T. B. La Primaud. Fr. Acad. ii. 13 True it is, that we haue now taken in hand a very long piece of worke. 1604 Shakes. Oth. i. iii. 79 That I haue tane away this old mans Daughter, It is most true: true I haue married her. 1611 Bible Dan. iii. 24 They answered and said vnto the king: True, O king. 1724 De Foe Mem. Cavalier (1840) 173 It is true, we were all but young in the War. 1784 Cowper Task iii. 210 True; I am no proficient, I confess, In arts like yours. 1859 Ruskin Two Paths i. §1 It is true that the art which carves and colours the front of a Swiss cottage is not of any very exalted kind; yet [etc.].
c.A.3.c come true: to be verified or realized in actual experience; to be fulfilled. hold true: see hold v. 23 c.
1819 Shelley Questions 7 To patch up fragments of a dream, Part of which comes true. 1875 Morris Æneid viii. 580 While yet my fear is unfulfilled, and hope may yet come true. 1879 M. J. Guest Lect. Hist. Eng. xxi. 206 His prophecy had come true.
d.A.3.d transf. Speaking truly, telling the truth; trustworthy in statement; veracious, truthful. (Not always distinguishable from 2.) Also fig.
a 1300 Cursor M. 6599 (Cott.) All er yee tru, þis es your saghes, Es nan of yow þat þis calf knaues. c 1440 Promp. Parv. 503/2 Truwe mann, or woman, verax. c 1460 Towneley Myst. vii. 77 That thay be traw of thare tong, And bere no fals witnes. 1526 Tindale Matt. xxii. 16 Master, we knowe that thou arte true, and that thou teachest the waye of god trueli. 1611 Bible Prov. xiv. 25 A true witnesse deliuereth soules: but a deceitfull witnesse speaketh lyes. 1634 Milton Comus 170 This way the noise was, if mine ear be true. 1697 Dryden Virg. Past. ii. 33 If the Glass be true, With Daphnis I may vie. 1850 Tennyson In Mem. lxxxv. 5 O true in word, and tried in deed.
e.A.3.e Phr. true for you [after Ir. is fíor duit]: an expression of assent to something said by another. (Stressed on for.) Anglo-Ir.
1835 R. M. Bird Hawks of Hawk-Hollow I. xix. 247 ‘You are Tapes, the pedler.’‥ ‘True for you, captain Gilbert!’ cried the other, with a stare. 1901 J. Barlow From Land of Shamrock 63 They would not, thrue for you. 1980 J. O'Faolain No Country for Young Men xv. 329 You're right there.‥ True for you.
f.A.3.f Purporting to be true. Freq. in collocations used attrib. to designate popular magazines which contain (remarkable) stories which purport to be true, as true confessions, true story; also true-life story, etc.
1926 A. Huxley Jesting Pilate iv. 260 He walked up and down the train‥peddling‥True Story Magazines. 1937 [see pulp magazine s.v. pulp n. 5 c]. 1957 C. MacInnes City of Spades ii. x. 170 Barbara was‥reading a ‘true story’ magazine. 1958 Times Lit. Suppl. 7 Feb. 72/3 She writes well, and—somewhat unusually for a social worker—quotes poetry. She seasons her facts with many ‘true-life’ stories. 1965 M. Spark Mandelbaum Gate vii. 303 Love, love-affairs, men and women and true-life stories formed the daily entertainment and talk of their week's travelling. 1967 ‘T. Wells’ What should you know of Dying? ii. 30 [She] was reading a true confessions magazine. I didn't think they even printed them any more.
g.A.3.g Colloq. phr. so (‥) it isn't true and varr.: to an almost incredible extent.
1963 Daily Herald 25 Apr. 7/6 The Princess was so calm it wasn't true. She was so relaxed. 1964 ‘A. Garve’ Ashes of Loda i. 14 He's‥so incompetent about ordinary day-to-day living it's just not true. 1970 R. Rendell Guilty Thing Surprised ix. 103 You may be only thirty-six but you're so dead old-fashioned it isn't true. 1982 Barr & York Official Sloane Ranger Handbk. 8/1 Sloane Britain is so heavily weighted towards the South and the West it's not true.
4. a.A.4.a Agreeing with a standard, pattern, or rule; exact, accurate, precise; correct, right.
c 1550 Cheke Matt. x. 5 (1843) 46 An Apostol, if ye wold have ye trutorn of ye naam is as much to sai as a frosent. 1570 Dee Math. Pref. a iv b, Of the Variacion of the Compas, from true North. 1583 Stubbes Anat. Abus. ii. (1882) 77 Such as can scarcely read true English. 1651 Hobbes Leviath. iii. xxxv. 217 The truest Translation is the first. 1674 Ray Collect. Words, Smelting Silver 114 Where the furnace is come to a true temper of heat. a 1721 Prior Protogenes & Apelles 54 Apelles drew A Circle regularly true. 1782 Cowper Gilpin 72 He‥hung a bottle on each side To make his balance true. 1822 J. Imison Sc. & Art I. 98 Clocks and watches‥so regulated as to measure true equal time. 1850 Tennyson In Mem. xcvi. 8 One indeed I knew‥Who touch'd a jarring lyre at first, But ever strove to make it true.
b.A.4.b In more general sense: Of the right kind, such as it should be, proper. (Cf. 5.)
1340–70 Alex. & Dind. 513 Þat þou miht trystli trye þe treweste lawe.‥ Þat þou miht‥þe beste lawe kenne. 1435 Coventry Leet Bk. 182 Yif the cardwiredrawer were‥disseyued withe ontrewe wire‥then wold he sey vnto the smythier‥‘Sir, amende your honde, or, in feithe, I wille no more bye of you’. And then the smythier, lest he lost his Custemers, wolde make true goode. c 1600 Shakes. Sonn. lxii, Me thinkes no face so gratious is‥, No shape so true. 1677 A. Yarranton Eng. Improv. 51 The Land in this Mannor is sound, rich, dry, and good, and that is the true Land to bear Flax. a 1770 Jortin Serm. (1771) II. i. 12 To place things in their true order. 1911 H. Wace Proph. Jew. & Chr. v. 92 Facts thus placed in their true bearings.
c.A.4.c That is rightly or lawfully such; rightful, legitimate.
c 1400 Destr. Troy 5411 How Thelaphus tide to be treu kyng. 1593 Shakes. 3 Hen. VI, i. ii. 23 An Oath is of no moment, being not tooke Before a true and lawfull Magistrate. 1681 Dryden Abs. & Achit. 921 The true successor from the court removed. 1790 Burke Fr. Rev. 322 By the laws of nature the occupant and subduer of the soil is the true proprietor.
d.A.4.d Accurately placed, fitted, or shaped; exact in position or form, as an instrument, a part of mechanism, or the like.
1474 Coventry Leet Bk. 400 That his weyghtes be sised & sealed and true beme. 1551 Recorde Pathw. Knowl. i. xxiv, More easyly‥may you‥make any suche line with a true ruler. 1664 Butler Hud. ii. iii. 1019 I'll make them serve for perpendiculars As true as e'er were us'd by bricklayers. 1726 Leoni tr. Alberti's Archit. I. 38/2 We must use a Square Rule‥of a very large Size, that our strait Lines may be the truer. 1875 Carpentry & Join. 43 A strip required to be cut and planed up perfectly true and even on its sides and ends. 1897 Pemberton Compl. Cyclist 87 A wheel which will remain perfectly true.
e.A.4.e true to: consistent with, exactly agreeing with, ‘faithful to’ (cf. 1 c). Also true to type.
a 1735 Arbuthnot (J.), A translation nicely true to the original. 1835 Athenæum 16 May 372/1 Another character—true to life—is Mrs. Hollis, the fruiterer. 1840 Dickens Old C. Shop i, Be true to your time in the morning. 1872 J. M. Langford Let. 11 Mar. in Geo. Eliot Lett. (1956) V. 254 One feels them all to be true to life. 1883 Morfill Slavonic Lit. i. 15 The dialects of a language are truer to its spirit than its literary form. 1885 Athenæum 23 May 661/2 The incident is very true to life and graphically described. 1929 Oxford Poetry 10 Say he died true to type: and then erect A cenotaph; he liked to be select. 1960 Farmer & Stockbreeder 1 Mar. 80/2 This was indeed a true-to-type Devon: a good, compact animal with nice fleshing and conformation. 1980 K. Follett Key to Rebecca xvii. 193 His preference for ‘true-to-life’ murders, as opposed to implausible country⁓house killings.
f.A.4.f Conformable to reality, natural: = true to nature.
1870 Huxley Lay Serm. i. 1 That truest of fictions, ‘The History of the Plague Year’. 1894 S. G. Green in Sunday at H. June 527, I do not object to fiction provided it be true.
g.A.4.g Remaining constant to type; not subject to variation. (Cf. C. 3 b.)
1839 Darwin Voy. Nat. viii. (1873) 146 This breed is very true. 1859 ― Orig. Spec. iv. (1860) 84 Can we wonder, then, that Nature's productions should be far ‘truer’ in character than man's productions?
h.A.4.h Of the wind: Steady, constant, uniform in direction and force.
1894 Dundee Advertiser 11 July 6/1 The Britannia was now 400 yards ahead.‥ The wind was continuing true.
i.A.4.i Of bearings: measured relative to true North.
1834 [see azimuth 2 a]. 1912 [see projection n. 7 b]. 1969 G. C. Dickinson Maps & Air Photographs viii. 125 Bearings measured relative to true north are called true bearings.
j.A.4.j Of the ground or other surface prepared for ball games: free from unevenness, level and smooth.
1851 in W. G. Grace W. G.'s Little Bk. (1909) i. 5 A man is but half a player who is only prepared for true grounds. 1895 H. G. Hutchinson Golf (ed. 5) xii. 309 The putting-greens are very good and true. 1934 W. J. Lewis Lang. Cricket 297 It [sc. the wicket] is said, with regard to its condition, to be hard when firm‥plumb or true when it is perfectly level and the ball behaves normally. 1965 L. R. Benaud Young Cricketer 86/1 Pitches of today seem to have changed from those of Bulli soil days‥when‥one played on a true, black, shiny strip as hard as concrete.
5. a.A.5.a Real, genuine; rightly answering to the description; properly so called; not counterfeit, spurious, or imaginary; also, conforming or approaching to the ideal character of such.
1398 Trevisa Barth. De P.R. xvi. xlvii. (Bodl. MS.) lf. 176/2 Stones‥þat bene fals‥seme moste liche‥to ham þat bene trew. [c 1440 Promp. Parv. 503/2 Trvwe, in belevynge, catholicus.] c 1470 Henry Wallace i. 22 His forbearis‥Of hale lynage, and trew lyne of Scotland. 1526 Tindale 1 John ii. 8 The darknes is past, and the true lyght nowe shyneth. 1535 Coverdale 1 John v. 20 This is the true God, and euerlastinge life. 1562 A. Scott Poems (S.T.S.) i. 21 Caus his trew Kirk be had in reuerence. 1589 Puttenham Eng. Poesie i. xii. (Arb.) 43 Vntrue praise neuer giueth any true reputation. 1680 Otway Orphan i. i, The World has not A truer Soldier, or a better Subject. 1697 Dryden Virg. Georg. iv. 598 He turns agen To his true Shape. 1781 Cowper Truth 176 True Piety is cheerful as the day. 1828 Scott F.M. Perth ii, The best armourer that ever made sword, and the truest soldier that ever drew one. 1849 Macaulay Hist. Eng. vi. II. 16 It was thought that the flocks‥would soon return to the true fold. 1854 Moseley Astron. xx. (1874) 93 About the equinox the time of true noon precedes the time of mean noon. 1891 Farrar Darkn. & Dawn liii, You may yet find the true criminals.
b.A.5.b In scientific use: Conformable to the type, or to the accepted idea or character of the genus, class, or kind; properly or strictly so called.
1578 Lyte Dodoens iii. lxviii. 408 True Maydenheare, Ladies heare, Venus heare. 1704 F. Fuller Med. Gymn. (1711) 201 The true skin, and all its innumerable Glands. 1741 Monro Anat. Bones (ed. 3) 222 The Ribs are commonly divided into True and False. The True Costæ are the seven superior of each Side. 1809 Med. Jrnl. XXI. 274 In all cases of true hydrophobia. 1841 Penny Cycl. XXI. 415/1 The Lanianæ, or true Shrikes. 1855 Phillips Man. Geol. 513 Masses of true granite. 1899 Allbutt's Syst. Med. VIII. 825 True nerve tumours are exceedingly rare.
c.A.5.c true bill (in Law), a bill of indictment found by a Grand Jury to be supported by sufficient evidence to justify the hearing of a case: see bill n.3 4. Hence allusively, a true statement or charge (true being loosely taken in sense 3).
1591 Lambarde Eiren. iv. v. 484 An Enditement in their [Jurors'] finding of a Bill of accusation to be true. 1659 Termes de la Ley 135 b, Indictment‥is a Bill‥exhibited by way of accusation‥and preferred unto Jurors, and by their verdict found presented to be true before a Judge. 1769 Blackstone Comm. IV. xxiii. 305 If they [the grand jury] are satisfied of the truth of the accusation, they then endorse upon it, ‘a true bill’; antiently, ‘billa vera’. The indictment is then said to be found. 1809 Malkin Gil Blas ix. vi. (Rtldg.) 321 Him they taxed with the plotted massacre, and the bill was a true one. 1852 Smedley L. Arundel lii, A true bill, by all that's unlucky!
d.A.5.d true left (or true right): the side which is on the left (or right) as one looks down from a hill or mountain, or downstream.
1910 J. Buchan Prester John x. 177 We followed a narrow shelf on its left side (or ‘true right’, as mountaineers would call it). 1929 ― Courts of Morning iii. iv. 344 Six men were perched high up among the rocks on the right side (what mountaineers would call the ‘true left’) of the couloir. 1971 N.Z. Listener 19 Apr. 55/2 An acquaintance asked‥what the reporter had meant by the ‘true left’ bank of the river. I explained that it was the one on the lefthand side as you looked downstream.
B.B n. (absol. use of the adj.)
†1.B.1 a.B.1.a A faithful, loyal, or trusty person; a ‘true man’. Obs.
13‥ Gaw. & Gr. Knt. 2354 Trwe mon [= must] trwe restore. c 1400 Destr. Troy 11976 A! traytor vntrew, how toke þou on honde Þat trew to be-tray? c 1470 Golagros & Gaw. 356 Thus with trety ye cast yon trew vndre tyld.
b.B.1.b spec. (With capital initial.) Nickname for a member of the Protestant or Whig party in the 17th c.: cf. true blue (see blue n. 8). Obs.
a 1734 North Exam. ii. v. §68. (1740) 357 Most of the eminent Fanatics in England, with all their Trues and True-blues.
2.B.2 the true: That which is true; truth, reality.
1812 Crabbe Tales xi. 388 If sleep one moment closed the dismal view, Fancy her terrors built upon the true. 1874 Geo. Eliot Coll. Breakf. P. 13 Yearning for that True Which has no qualities.
3.B.3 Accurate position or adjustment (in phr. out of true or the true): cf. sense 4 d above, and truth n. 6. Hence out-of-true n., the extent to which a part is out of exact alignment. Cf. truth n. 6.
1876 J. Rose Compl. Pract. Machinist vi. 86 If the face plate of the lathe is a trifle out of true, the eccentric will only be out to an equal amount. 1890 W. J. Gordon Foundry 51 The bottom member would be out of the true as it expanded unequally. 1895 J. T. Usher Mod. Machinist xxi. 199 The eccentric is‥held on the arbor while it is being turned in precisely the same way as it is held on the crank-shaft or axle of the engine, thereby avoiding the tendency to spring it out of true after it is turned, which often happens when it is held for turning by other means. 1970 K. Ball Fiat 600, 600D Autobook vi. 59/1 The out-of-true at bearing seats must not exceed ·0008 inch.
1.C.1 Faithfully; †honestly; †confidently: = truly 1, 2.
1303 R. Brunne Handl. Synne 1912 Þere ys no solas vndyr heuene‥Þat shuld a man so moche glew As a gode womman þat loueþ trew. 13‥ [see B. 1]. a 1425 Cursor M. 4913 (Trin.) Þing þat we truly bouȝt And so is oure trewe geten þing. c 1470 Henry Wallace i. 86 Ressawide he was and trastyt werray trew. c 1555, 1633 [see true-dealing, true-meaning, in D. 2].
2.C.2 In accordance with fact; truthfully; rightly: = truly 3.
a 1300 Cursor M. 18420 (Cott.), I hight þe tru þat þou þis ilk dai sal be‥in paradis wit me. c 1450 Merlin i. 7 The gode woman that spake with me seyde full trewe. 1526 Tindale John xix. 35 He knoweth that he sayth true. 1638 Baker tr. Balzac's Lett. (vol. II.) 142 Tell mee true, Did you not [etc.]? 1711 Addison Spect. No. 58 ⁋13 If he tells me true. 1883 Athenæum 17 Feb. 217/1 If report speak true.
3. a.C.3.a Exactly, accurately, correctly: = truly 4.
1530 Palsgr. 698/2 Sauf vostre grace, or saulue vostre grace, for I fynde bothe, but saulue is trewer written. 1660 H. Bloome Archit. A c, Sima being made true Square. 1687 A. Lovell tr. Thevenot's Trav. i. 35 They shoot at a mark very true with a Bow and Arrow. 1765 Wesley Wks. (1872) XIV. 335, I want the people called Methodists to sing true the tunes‥in common use. 1835 Sir J. Ross Narr. 2nd Voy. viii. 119 The wind had continued true north. 1850 Lynch Theo. Trin. xii. 232 Thy love in ours is imaged true As skies in water clear.
b.C.3.b In agreement with the ancestral type; without variation: in phr. to breed true. (Cf. A. 4 g.)
1859 Darwin Orig. Spec. i. (1860) 19 Every race that breeds true. 1868 ― Anim. & Pl. I. vii. 242 The Spanish breed has long been known to breed true. 1912 Chambers's Jrnl. Dec. 810/2 Each variety breeds ‘true’ in breeders' parlance. 1967 Listener 3 Aug. 142/1 But there are two regularities which are equally impressive: organisms breed true, and their structures are orderly.
4.C.4 Really, genuinely; authentically. (Cf. truly 5.)
a 1586, 1847 [see true-felt, true-heroic, in D. 2]. 1895 Daily News 17 Dec. 5/1 Miss Rushton does not say what paper or letter is true signed.
1.D.1 The adj. in comb.: a.D.1.a parasynthetic, as true-blooded, true-breasted, true-eyed, true-paced, true-souled, true-spirited, true-stamped (having the true stamp, genuine), true-toned, true-tongued adjs.: see also true-hearted; b.D.1.b with other adjs., as true-like, true-seeming; c.D.1.c with ns.: true-metal a., like that of genuine metal; †true-stitch, a kind of embroidery exactly alike on both sides (obs.); true-tongue, one having a true tongue, a truthful person, truth-teller; †true-wit (tru-witt), a genuinely witty person, a real ‘wit’ (obs.).
1818 Cobbett Pol. Reg. XXXIII. 598 They are more *true-blooded.
1605 1st Pt. Ieronimo i. iii, O my *true brested father.
1883 Mrs. Plunkett in Harper's Mag. Jan. 240/2 Some *true-eyed artist.
1588 Fraunce Lawiers Log. i. ii. 5 Plato‥ascribeth truth to God and Gods children, leaving nothing but *truelike to mortall men.
1611 Shakes. Cymb. i. vi. 166 He is one The *truest manner'd.
1868 J. H. Blunt Ref. Ch. Eng. I. 449 This is the *true-metal ring of the Book of Common Prayer.
1648 Herrick Hesper., Fare-well to Sack 35 Before they sing Their *true-pac'd numbers.
1590 Spenser F.Q. i. i. 38 The falsest twoo, And fittest for to forge *true-seeming lyes. 1824 Miss Mitford Village Ser. i. (1863) 222 The equally apocryphal but still truer-seeming History of the Plague.
1854 Grace Greenwood Haps & Mishaps 37 A *true-souled old man.
1684 Otway Atheist i. i, A dozen‥jolly, *true-spirited‥Friends.
1678 Dryden All for Love i. i, The‥rugged Virtue Of an old *true-stampt Roman.
1598 B. Jonson Case is Altered ii. iii, What, *true-stitch, sister! both your sides alike! 1664 Hawkins Youths Behav. ii. 7 True-Stitch, Sattin stitch, Queen-stitch [etc.].
1907 Daily Chron. 21 Nov. 5/3 Her‥E flat rang out clear and perfect like a *true-toned bell.
1377 Langl. P. Pl. B. iii. 320 Thanne worth *trewe-tonge a tidy man þat tened me neuere.
c 1369 Chaucer Dethe Blaunche 927 Of eloquence was neuer founde So swete a sownynge facounde, Ne *trewer tonged.
1651 Charleton Ephes. & Cimm. Matrons ii. (1668) 60 Transformed from an Ideot, a Bartholmew-Cokes, a Clown, to a Bon Esprit, a Virtuoso, a *Truwitt.
d.D.1.d Appositively: true–false a. Educ. and Psychol., denoting a type of test question constructed so that only the words ‘true’ or ‘false’ (or another pair of opposites) are acceptable responses; characterizing a test that uses this technique.
1923 P. B. Ballard New Examiner vii. 80 The new examination comprised three tests, the first of which was of the True–False type. 1957 D. L. Bolinger in Publ. Amer. Dial. Soc. xxviii. 24 Yes–no Qs are essentially true–false Qs. 1965 N. E. Gronlund Measurement & Eval. in Teaching viii. 127 Some of the variations‥deviate considerably from the simple true—false pattern. 1974 in H. G. Macintosh Techniques & Probl. Assessment iii. 25 Other word pairs relating to the statement such as ‘greater than–less than’‥‘faster–slower’ and so on. It is the possibilities offered by these other pairs which make the true/false form a particularly useful one.
2.D.2 The adv. in comb.: a.D.2.a with ppl. adjs., as true-begotten, true-dealing, true-derived, true-devoted, true-disposing, true-divining, true-felt, true-made, true-meaning, true-meant, true-ringing, true-run, true-speaking, true-spelling, true-strung; see also true-born, -bred; b.D.2.b with other adjs., as true-heroic, true-noble, true-sweet, true-sublime.
1596 Shakes. Merch. V. ii. ii. 36 O heauens, this is my *true begotten Father. 1708 S. Centlivre Busie Body i. i, He‥scarce believes there's a true-begotten child in the city.
c 1555 Harpsfield Divorce Hen. VIII (Camden) 94 Like an honest *true-dealing man.
1594 Shakes. Rich. III, iii. vii. 200 To draw forth your Noble Ancestrie‥Vnto a Lineall *true deriued course.
1591 ― Two Gent. ii. vii. 9 A *true-deuoted Pilgrime is not weary To measure Kingdomes with his feeble steps.
1594 ― Rich. III, iv, iv. 55 O vpright, iust, and *true-disposing God.
1588 ― Tit. A. ii. iii. 214 To proue thou hast a *true diuining heart.
a 1586 Sidney Arcadia i. (1622) 40 Such tokens of *true-felt sorrow.
1847 Tennyson Princess Concl., Why Not make her *true-heroic—true-sublime?
1598 Drayton Heroic. Ep., O. Tudor to Q. Cath. 44 By Frances conquest, and by Englands oth, You are the *true made dowager of both.
1633 T. Adams Exp. 2 Peter ii. 18 A thief lighting into *true-meaning company.
1603 Shakes. Meas. for M. i. iv. 55 Of an infinite distance From his *true meant designe.
1601 Chester Love's Mart., Poet Ess. Title-p., The *true-noble Knight.
1907 Daily Chron. 23 Feb. 3/2 These *true-ringing, rough-hewn epistles.
1893 Bailey's Mag. Oct. 273/1 Was the race a *true-run one?
1570–6 Lambarde Peramb. Kent (1826) 290 The opinion of any one *true speaking man.
1604 Middleton Father Hubburd's T. Wks. (Bullen) VIII. 53 A *true-spelling printer.
1598 Sylvester Du Bartas ii. i. iii. Furies 55 This mighty World did seem an Instrument *True-strung, well-tun'd.
1593–4 ― Profit Imprisonm. 766 That this world's fained sweet‥Should be preferr'd before these seeming-sowrs, that make us Taste many *true-sweet sweets.
c 1600 Shakes. Sonn. lxxxii, Thy *true telling friend.
1821 Clare Vill. Minstr. (1823) I. 26 *True-thought legends.