English Definitions
Word:  Truth.

Webster's Revised Unabridged (1913)


  1. The quality of being true; as:
    1. Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been; or shall be.
    2. Conformity to rule; exactness; close correspondence with an example, mood, object of imitation, or the like.
      • Plows, to go true, depend much on the truth of the ironwork. Mortimer.
    3. Fidelity; constancy; steadfastness; faithfulness.
      • Alas! they had been friends in youth, But whispering tongues can poison truth. Coleridge.
    4. The practice of speaking what is true; freedom from falsehood; veracity.
      • If this will not suffice, it must appear That malice bears down truth. Shak.
  2. That which is true or certain concerning any matter or subject, or generally on all subjects; real state of things; fact; verity; reality.
    • Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor. Zech. viii. 16.
    • I long to know the truth here of at large. Shak.
    • The truth depends on, or is only arrived at by, a legitimate deduction from all the facts which are truly material. Coleridge.
  3. A true thing; a verified fact; a true statement or proposition; an established principle, fixed law, or the like; as, the great truths of morals.
    • Even so our boasting . . . is found a truth. 2 Cor. vii. 14.
  4. Righteousness; true religion.
    • Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. John i. 17.
    • Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth. John xvii. 17.

Webster's Third New International (1961)

Etymology: Middle English trewthe, treuthe, from Old English treowth, triewth; akin to Old High German getriuwida fidelity, Old Norse tryggth faith, trustiness; derivative from the root of English true.


    1. (Archaic:) The quality or state of being faithful.
    2. Sincerity in character, action, and speech : genuineness in expressing feeling or belief : truthfulness, honesty.
  • Something that is true or held to be true: as
    1. The real state of affairs : something that is the case : fact.
    2. The body of things, events, and facts that make up the universe : actual existence : actuality.
    3. (Often capitalized:) A fundamental or spiritual reality conceived of as being partly or wholly transcendent of perceived actuality and experience.
    4. The world of a particular person or in a particular manner.
    1. A true relation or account.
    2. A judgment, proposition, statement, or idea that accords with fact or reality, is logically or intuitively necessary, or follows by sound reasoning from established or necessary truths; (specifically) : a proposition or statement taken as an axiom, postulate, or principle in a field of study or inquiry.
    3. Truism, platitude.
    4. A notion having wide and uncritical acceptance among a group or in a field and liable to be proved false.
  • The body of true statements and propositions; (also) : the body of statements and propositions accepted, studied, or proved in a field.
    1. Relationship, conformity, or agreement with fact or reality or among true facts or propositions : the property in a conception, judgment, statement, proposition, belief, or opinion of being in accord with what is in fact or in necessity.
    2. (Chiefly British:) True, as in "her propeller shaft was a trifle out of truth" ~C.S. Forester
      1. Fidelity to an original or a possible original.
      2. The conformity of a work of art to the essential significance of the subject, to the artist's conception or intent, or to some standard : the coherence of form and content in an apparently necessary whole.
    1. (Often capitalized:) Abstract truth personified as a goddess.
    2. (Capitalized, Christian Science:) God.

Cambridge Dictionary of American English (2002)


  • The actual fact or facts about a matter:
    • Tell the truth, how did the chair get broken?
    • We may never know the truth about what happened.
  • The quality of being true:
    • I can see some truth in what she said.
  • A statement or principle that is generally considered to be true:
    • A scientific truth.
    • Our system of belief is based on a few simple truths.

Collins English Dictionary (2012)


  1. The quality of being true, genuine, actual, or factual. 'The truth of his statement was attested.'
  2. Something that is true as opposed to false. 'You did not tell me the truth.'
  3. A proven or verified principle or statement; fact. 'The truths of astronomy.'
  4. (Usually plural:) A system of concepts purporting to represent some aspect of the world. 'The truths of ancient religions.'
  5. Fidelity to a required standard or law.
  6. Faithful reproduction or portrayal. 'The truth of a portrait.'
  7. An obvious fact; truism; platitude.
  8. Honesty, reliability, or veracity. 'The truth of her nature.'
  9. Accuracy, as in the setting, adjustment, or position of something, such as a mechanical instrument.
  10. The state or quality of being faithful; allegiance.

Oxford English Dictionary (2014)


  1. The quality or state of being true.
    • 'He had to accept the truth of her accusation.'
    • 'Big business acts on a different scale of honesty, morality and truth to we mere mortals.'
    • 'It will say that truth and honesty were the basic disciplines of scientists such as Jones.'
    • 'My research showed that this stereotype once had some truth but is now no longer true.'
    1. (Also 'the truth':) That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.
      • 'Tell me the truth.'
      • 'She found out the truth about him.'
      • 'Madness is full of mischief and when the truth becomes distorted, reality has no meaning.'
      • 'They cannot deny facts and the truth but of course they will never admit they are wrong.'
      • 'The news is uncertain, the details clouded and vague, and the truth behind the fact is elusive.'
    2. A fact or belief that is accepted as true.
      • 'The emergence of scientific truths.'
      • 'One of the great accepted truths which shapes our existence is the fact that nothing lasts forever.'
      • 'You face truths and facts in personal and professional situations to gain clarity.'
      • 'We western liberals take it as an article of faith that facts and truths trump everything.'

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Full Texts of Selected References
Ps. 146:5--Blessed (maKArios) is he whose helper is the God of Jacob, whose hope (elPIS) is in the Lord his God: 6 who made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all (PANta) things in them: who keeps (phyLASsonta) truth (aLE-theian) for ever: 7 who executes judgment for the wronged (adikouMEnois): who gives food to the hungry. The Lord looses the fettered ones: 8 the Lord gives wisdom (soPHOI) to the blind:
The Lord sets up the broken down: the Lord loves (agaPA) the righteous (diKAIous): the Lord preserves (phyLASsei) the strangers (tous prose-LYtous); 9 he will relieve (anaLE-psetai) the orphan and widow: but will utterly remove the way of sinners. (Brenton LXX)
Alt.: Happy is he who ... 6 ... who keeps faith forever (hashshome-r 'emeth l:?owla-m); ... 8 ... the Lord makes those who are bent stand straight; ... 9 The Lord watches over the stranger; He gives courage to the orphan and widow (JPS 1985)
Alt.: ... 6 ... who remains faithful forever. 7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed (NIV)
Alt.: ... 6 ... He remains loyal forever. ... 8 ... The Lord loves those who do right. (NCV)
Alt.: ... 6 ... the One keeping trueness to time indefinite, 7 the One executing judgment for the defrauded ones, the One giving bread to the hungry ones (NWT)

Lk. 1:58--[Mary's] neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy (Eleos), and they shared her joy (syNEchairon auTE-). (NIV)
Alt.: ... and they rejoiced with her. (RSV)
Alt.: ... heard that Jehovah had magnified his mercy to her, and they began to rejoice with her. (NWT)
Alt.: The word spread quickly to her neighbors and relatives of how kind the Lord had been to her, and everyone rejoiced. (LB)
Alt.: ... heard how wonderfully good the Lord had been to her ... (TEV)

Lk. 15:6--Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, "Rejoice with (synCHAre-TE) me; I have found my lost sheep." (NIV)
Alt.: ... 'Come and celebrate with me' (Phillips)
Alt.: ... 'I am so happy I found my lost sheep. Let us celebrate!' (TEV)

1 Cor. 12:26--And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with (synCHAIrei) it. (KJV)
Alt.: And if there is pain in one part of the body, all the parts will be feeling it; or if one part is honoured, all the parts will be glad. (BBE)
Alt.: ... if one part is praised, all the others share its happiness. (TEV)
Alt.: ..., all rejoice together. (RSV)

Philippians 2:17-18--Even if I am to be poured as a libation upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad (CHAIro-) and rejoice with (synCHAIro-) you all. Likewise you also should be glad (CHAIrete) and rejoice with (synCHAIrete) me. (RSV)
Alt.: ... upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. And you too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me. (NAS)
Alt.: ..., still I am glad [to do it] and congratulate you all on [your share in] it. And you also in like manner be glad and congratulate me on [my share in] it. (AMP)
Alt.: ..., all rejoice together. (RSV)

2 Timothy 3:5b-8--Have nothing to do with such people. 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires (epithyMIais), 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth (ale-THEIas). 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth (anTHIStantai te- ale-THEIa). They are men of depraved (katephtharMENoi) minds, who, as far as the faith (te-n PIStin) is concerned, are rejected (aDOKimoi). (NIV)
Alt.: these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. (ESV)
Alt.: so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. (KJV)
Alt.: These are the kind of people who smooth-talk themselves into the homes of unstable and needy women and take advantage of them; women who, depressed by their sinfulness, take up with every new religious fad that calls itself "truth." They get exploited every time and never really learn. These men are like those old Egyptian frauds Jannes and Jambres, who challenged Moses. They were rejects from the faith, twisted in their thinking, defying truth itself. (Mes)
Alt.: Women of that kind are forever following new teachers, but they never understand the truth. And these teachers fight truth just as Jannes and Jambres fought against Moses. They have dirty minds, warped and twisted, and have turned against the Christian faith. (LB)
Alt.: These men are as much enemies to the truth as Jannes and Jambres were to Moses. Their minds are distorted, and they are traitors to the faith. (Phillips)
Alt.: so also these do stand against the truth (YLT)

3 John 1:2-4--Dear friend (agape-TE), I pray you may prosper concerning everything and be healthy, just as your soul prospers. 3 For I rejoiced (eCHARe-n) exceedingly when the brothers came and testified to your truth (ale-THEIa), just as you are walking in the truth (en ale-THEIa peripaTEIS). 4 I have no greater joy (chaRAN) than this: that I hear my children are walking in the truth (en te- ale-THEIa). (LEB)
Alt.: I was so happy when some Christians arrived and told me how faithful you are to the truth—just as you always live in the truth. Nothing makes me happier than to hear that my children live in the truth. (GNT)
Alt.: I greatly rejoiced when [some of] the brethren from time to time arrived and spoke [so highly] of the sincerity and fidelity of your life, as indeed you do live in the Truth [the whole Gospel presents]. (AMP)
Alt.: I rejoiced exceedingly when [the] brethren came and bore testimony to thy [holding fast the] truth (Darby)
Alt.: and spoke so highly of the sincerity of your life—obviously you are living in the truth. (Phillips)
Alt.: and spoke highly of your faithfulness to the truth, shown by how you live according to the truth. (CEB)

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Other Ancient Sources
Community Rule 4:24b-25a (late 1st century BC)--According to a man's share in truth shall he be righteous and thus hate deceit, and according to his inheritance in the lot of deceit he shall be evil through it, and thus 25 loathe truth. (Charlesworth)
Alt.: And according to a man's inheritance in Truth and Righteousness, so will he hate Unrighteousness. And according to his inheritance of the lot of Unrighteousness, so he will behave wickedly through it 25 and abominate Truth. (Eisenman)

Barnabas 2:2-3 (c.70-131 AD)--Fear (PHObos) and patience (hypomoNE-), then, are helpers (boe-THOI) of our faith (PISteo-s); and long-suffering (makrothyMIa) and continence (enKRAteia) are things which fight on our side. 3 While these remain pure in what respects the Lord, Wisdom (soPHIa), Understanding (SYnesis), Science (episTE-me-), and Knowledge (GNO-sis) rejoice along with (syneuPHRAInontai) them.
Alt.: ... 3 while these things continue, those which respect the Lord rejoice in purity along with them -- Wisdom ...
Alt.: Now the assistants of our faith are fear and patience; our fellow-combatants, long-suffering and continence. 3 Whilst these remain pure in what relates to the Lord, wisdom, and understanding, and science, and knowledge, rejoice together with them.

Origen (182-254)--To what we have said must be added how the Son is the true vine. Those will have no difficulty in apprehending this who understand, in a manner worthy of the prophetic grace, the saying: “Wine maketh glad the heart of man.” For if the heart be the intellectual part, and what rejoices it is the Word most pleasant of all to drink which takes us off human things, makes us feel ourselves inspired, and intoxicates us with an intoxication which is not irrational but divine, that, I conceive, with which Joseph made his brethren merry, then it is very clear how He who brings wine thus to rejoice the heart of man is the true vine. He is the true vine, because the grapes He bears are the truth, the disciples are His branches, and they, also, bring forth the truth as their fruit. It is somewhat difficult to show the difference between the vine and bread, for He says, not only that He is the vine, but that He is the bread of life. May it be that as bread nourishes and makes strong, and is said to strengthen the heart of man, but wine, on the contrary, pleases and rejoices and melts him, so ethical studies, bringing life to him who learns them and reduces them to practice, are the bread of life, but cannot properly be called the fruit of the vine, while secret and mystical speculations, rejoicing the heart and causing those to feel inspired who take them in, delighting in the Lord, and who desire not only to be nourished but to be made happy, are called the juice of the true vine, because they flow from it.

Clementine Homilies (before 350)--And it is by no means that which is true, but that which is pleasing, which persuades every one who seeks to learn from himself. Since, therefore, one thing is pleasing to one, and another to another, one thing prevails over one as truth, and another thing over another. But the truth is that which is approved by the Prophet, not that which is pleasant to each individual. For that which is one would be many, if the pleasing were the true; which is impossible.

John Chrysostom (c.347-407)--but also, what is much greater, "rejoiceth with the truth." "She feels pleasure," saith he, "with them that are well spoken of," as Paul saith, "Rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep." (Romans chapter 12, verse 15)

Augustine (354-430)--It is not, then, certain that all men wish to be happy, since those who wish not to rejoice in Thee, which is the only happy life, do not verily desire the happy life. Or do all desire this, but because “the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh,” so that they “cannot do the things that they would,” they fall upon that which they are able to do, and with that are content; because that which they are not able to do, they do not so will as to make them able? For I ask of every man, whether he would rather rejoice in truth or in falsehood. They will no more hesitate to say, “in truth,” than to say, “that they wish to be happy.” For a happy life is joy in the truth. For this is joy in Thee, who art “the truth,” O God, “my light,” “the health of my countenance, and my God.” All wish for this happy life; this life do all wish for, which is the only happy one; joy in the truth do all wish for. I have had experience of many who wished to deceive, but not one who wished to be deceived. Where, then, did they know this happy life, save where they knew also the truth? For they love it, too, since they would not be deceived. And when they love a happy life, which is naught else but joy in the truth, assuredly they love also the truth; which yet they would not love were there not some knowledge of it in the memory. Wherefore, then, do they not rejoice in it? Why are they not happy? Because they are more entirely occupied with other things which rather make them miserable, than that which would make them happy, which they remember so little of. For there is yet a little light in men; let them walk -- let them “walk,” that the “darkness” seize them not.

Why, then, doth truth beget hatred and that man of thine, preaching the truth become an enemy unto them, whereas a happy life is loved, which is naught else but joy in the truth; unless that truth is loved in such a sort as that those who love aught else wish that to be the truth which they love, and, as they are willing to be deceived, are unwilling to be convinced that they are so? Therefore do they hate the truth for the sake of that thing which they love instead of the truth. They love truth when she shines on them, and hate her when she rebukes them. For, because they are not willing to be deceived, and wish to deceive, they love her when she reveals herself, and hate her when she reveals them. On that account shall she so requite them, that those who were unwilling to be discovered by her she both discovers against their will, and discovers not herself unto them. Thus, thus, truly thus doth the human mind, so blind and sick, so base and unseemly, desire to lie concealed, but wishes not that anything should be concealed from it. But the opposite is rendered unto it, -- that itself is not concealed from the truth, but the truth is concealed from it. Yet, even while thus wretched, it prefers to rejoice in truth rather than in falsehood. Happy then will it be, when, no trouble intervening, it shall rejoice in that only truth by whom all things else are true.

John of Damascus (676-749), attributing words to Justin Martyr--I reckon prosperity, O men, to consist in nothing else than in living according to truth.

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