n. pl. truths(trthz, trths)
a. Conformity to fact or actuality: Does this story have any truth?
b. Reality; actuality: In truth, he was not qualified for the job.
c. The reality of a situation: The truth is, she respects your work.
a. A statement proven to be or accepted as true: truths about nature.
b. Such statements considered as a group: researchers in pursuit of truth.
3. Sincerity; integrity: the truth of his intentions.
4. Fidelity to an original or standard: the truth of the copy.
a. Theology & Philosophy That which is considered to be the ultimate ground of reality.
b. Logic The positive (true) truth-value.
[Middle English trewthe, loyalty, from Old English trēowth; see deru- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: truth, veracity, verity, verisimilitude
These nouns refer to the quality of being in accord with fact or reality. Truth is a comprehensive term that in all of its nuances implies accuracy and honesty: “We seek the truth, and will endure the consequences” (Charles Seymour).
Veracity is adherence to the truth: “Veracity is the heart of morality” (Thomas H. Huxley).
Verity often applies to an enduring or repeatedly demonstrated truth: “beliefs that were accepted as eternal verities” (James Harvey Robinson).
Verisimilitude is the quality of having the appearance of truth or reality: “merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative” (W.S. Gilbert).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.