true: [OE] The underlying etymological meaning of true is ‘faithful, steadfast, firm’; ‘in accordance with the facts’ is a secondary development. It goes back to the prehistoric Germanic base *treww-, which also produced German treue and Dutch trouw ‘faithful’ and the English noun truce, and it has been speculated that it may ultimately have links with the Indo- European base *dru- ‘wood, tree’ (source of English tree), the semantic link being the firmness or steadfastness of oaks and suchlike trees. Truth [OE] comes from the same source, as do its derivative betroth , its now archaic variant troth , the equally dated trow [OE], and probably also trust and tryst. => betroth, troth, trow, truce, trust, truth, tryst
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" (cognates: 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-/*dreu- "be firm, solid, steadfast" (cognates: Lithuanian drutas "firm," Welsh drud, Old Irish dron "strong," Welsh derw "true," Old Irish derb "sure"), with specialized sense "wood, tree" and derivatives referring to objects made of wood (see tree (n.)).
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. 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.
"make true in position, form, or adjustment," 1841, from true (adj.) in the sense "agreeing with a certain standard." Related: Trued; truing.
1. As a player he was unselfish, a true team man.
2. But as with other charitable bodies, these figures mask the true picture.
3. Too much salt masks the true flavour of the food.
4. They were decked out in tracksuits, seemingly to dissimulate their true function.
5. The jury is out on whether or not this is true.