true (adj.)

Old English triewe (West Saxon), treowe (Mercian) "faithful, trustworthy, honest, steady in adhering to promises, friends, etc.," from Proto-Germanic *treuwaz "having or characterized by good faith" (source also of Old Frisian triuwi, Dutch getrouw, Old High German gatriuwu, German treu, Old Norse tryggr, Danish tryg, Gothic triggws "faithful, trusty"), from PIE *drew-o-, a suffixed form of the root *deru- "be firm, solid, steadfast."

Sense of "consistent with fact" first recorded c. 1200; that of "real, genuine, not counterfeit" is from late 14c.; that of "conformable to a certain standard" (as true north) is from c. 1550. Of artifacts, "accurately fitted or shaped" it is recorded from late 15c. Of aim, etc. "straight to the target, accurate,," by 1801, probably from the notion of "sure, unerring."

True-love (n.) is Old English treowlufu. True-born (adj.) first attested 1590s. True-false (adj.) as a type of test question is recorded from 1923. To come true (of dreams, etc.) is from 1819.

true (v.)

"make true in position, form, or adjustment," 1841, from true (adj.) in the sense "agreeing with a certain standard." Related: Trued; truing.

updated on November 12, 2018

Definitions of true from WordNet
true (adj.)
having a legally established claim;
the true and lawful king
Synonyms: lawful / rightful
true (adj.)
worthy of being depended on;
I would be true for there are those who trust me
he was true to his word
Synonyms: dependable / honest / reliable
true (adj.)
rightly so called;
a true friend
a spirit which true men have always admired
true courage
true (adj.)
determined with reference to the earth's axis rather than the magnetic poles;
true north is geographic north
true (adj.)
not pretended; sincerely felt or expressed;
true grief
Synonyms: genuine / unfeigned
true (adj.)
consistent with fact or reality; not false; "it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true"- B. Russell;
the story is true
the true meaning of the statement
true (adj.)
accurately placed or thrown;
his aim was true
Synonyms: dead on target
true (adj.)
devoted (sometimes fanatically) to a cause or concept or truth;
true believers bonded together against all who disagreed with them
true (adj.)
expressing or given to expressing the truth;
a true statement
Synonyms: truthful
true (adj.)
conforming to definitive criteria;
Pythagoras was the first true mathematician
the horseshoe crab is not a true crab
true (adj.)
in tune; accurate in pitch;
a true note
Synonyms: on-key
true (adj.)
accurately fitted; level;
the window frame isn't quite true
Synonyms: straight
true (v.)
make level, square, balanced, or concentric;
true up the cylinder of an engine
Synonyms: true up
true (n.)
proper alignment; the property possessed by something that is in correct or proper alignment;
out of true
true (adv.)
as acknowledged;
true, she is the smartest in her class
Synonyms: admittedly / avowedly / confessedly
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.