Definition of truly in English:



  • 1In a truthful way.

    ‘he speaks truly’
    • ‘There was an almost awkward silence, in which a thousand words were exchanged, but none were truly spoken.’
    • ‘Ignorant children can speak truly about Jesus because God has given them this insight and opened their mouths.’
    • ‘Paul says that he can only truly speak of that which is physical not spiritual.’
    • ‘And the motive on the part of the slave-owners was the love of gold; or, to speak more truly, of vulgar and puerile ostentation.’
    • ‘The old knight is of course referring to himself, and in the case of this production is speaking all too truly.’
    • ‘‘Of the woe that is in marriage it is impossible to speak truly,’ he says of Godard and Karina.’
    • ‘There is a difference between pretending to speak for the majority and making sure its views are truly represented in the debate and public inquiry.’
    • ‘One can truly speak of nomenclatural chaos, even though Linnaeus's binomial system was widely employed.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, these poems speak to me more truly than Bertrand Russell's glib quote.’
    • ‘I truly and openly declare that I believe that the nation will become a republic over time.’
    • ‘I really have nothing bad to say about this show, truly and sincerely.’
    • ‘It was simple and honest, the way only a child can truly speak.’
    • ‘Then if someone uttered this sentence 100 years ago, they spoke truly.’
    truthfully, honestly, frankly, candidly, openly, to someone's face, without dissembling, laying one's cards on the table
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    1. 1.1Used to emphasize emotional sincerity or seriousness.
      ‘it is truly a privilege to be here’
      [as submodifier] ‘I'm truly sorry, but I can't join you today’
      • ‘And I really, truly, sincerely hope you feel exactly the same way about your work.’
      • ‘Not everyone appreciates her properly so I was truly grateful.’
      • ‘I can imagine how frustrating it must be for those who truly do take it seriously.’
      • ‘I'm sure he is sincere and was truly shocked to find real, live homophobia out in the provinces.’
      • ‘Hayden felt truly sincere and almost started to cry with his words.’
      • ‘There was only one thing she could say, and so she said it, hoping that she could sound as sincere as she truly was.’
      • ‘Tara catches her, and both are killed as Giles shoots Willow in the back, deciding that she's just too dangerous to live, saying he's truly sorry.’
      • ‘If anything that is written here offends you, I am afraid that I am not truly sorry and I cannot sincerely apologise for it.’
      • ‘An absolutely auspicious week for some serious concentrating on what it is you most truly madly deeply want this year.’
      • ‘We were truly, truly sorry that there was the shortfall in our initial funding of the foundation.’
      • ‘How could any father not choose to do what he truly and sincerely thought was best under those circumstances?’
      • ‘But if he were truly sorry, he would have admitted his crime and spared Caroline's family the anguish of a drawn-out trial.’
      • ‘Really, seriously, truly… how would you handle the situation with the recruiter?’
      • ‘I really, sincerely, truly hope things are looking better for you, I really do.’
      • ‘This was a slip of the brain on our part for which we are truly, madly deeply sorry.’
      • ‘It was obvious listening to Jim speak that he truly loves this industry and what he does.’
      • ‘It truly was an emotional moment, and I swear I saw more than one tear filled eye among the delighted fans.’
      sincerely, genuinely, really, indeed, from the bottom of one's heart, heartily, profoundly, veritably
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  • 2To the fullest degree; genuinely or properly.

    ‘management does not truly understand about the residents’
    • ‘Have you ever truly analysed your real feelings?’
    • ‘People talk about climate change and the need to enforce the Kyoto protocol but I don't think they truly understand how important it is.’
    • ‘When journalists fear for their lives, one cannot say the press is truly free.’
    • ‘The best way to truly understand it is to give it a whirl.’
    • ‘This woman turns out to be the only person who truly understands him and his work, and signals the beginning of a desperate, passionate obsession for both of them.’
    • ‘Now, Will finds that frustrating, and we can truly understand that.’
    • ‘When I moved to Canada and got a wheelchair, I truly understood how different I was from other kids.’
    • ‘If they're truly interested in speaking with one voice then it's inevitable that the accents will start to fade over time.’
    • ‘It's a salutary reminder that only the genuinely elderly truly know what it is to be old.’
    • ‘In order to truly understand what went wrong with this war, you have to look at what was being said and what was being heard before we went into it.’
    • ‘And yet, there are certain tools to understanding mankind that are truly universal.’
    • ‘In order for them to have a truly free choice, they would have to be properly informed of and educated about all their options.’
    • ‘To truly understand my mother, you'd have to go back in time and explore one of the most vivid memories I have of her.’
    • ‘Still, hardly anyone truly understands what to do with addicts.’
    • ‘If you box off your style into a certain category it's hard to be truly musical and free, which puts a limit on your creativity.’
    • ‘I guess I will never be able to truly understand consumer fundamentalists.’
    • ‘Part of what fuels popular interest in the black tulip saga is the fact that no truly black tulip actually exists to this day - nor is one ever likely to!’
    • ‘And right at the time when I needed help, he was there and truly understood me.’
    • ‘That decade truly represented the age of parity, relatively speaking.’
    • ‘Even with all the controversy over stem cells, how many of our elected leaders truly understand their uses?’
    • ‘What I am saying is that occasional errors are inevitable with a truly free press.’
    accurately, correctly, exactly, precisely, faithfully, closely, unerringly
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    1. 2.1[as submodifier]Absolutely or completely (used for emphasis)
      ‘a truly dreadful song’
      • ‘She's got this truly terrible habit of emphasising random syllables in news reports.’
      • ‘He was a truly appalling candidate to begin with, and his campaign was a disaster.’
      • ‘This is a truly dreadful movie, a hotchpotch of historical inaccuracies and romantic fiction.’
      • ‘Let us be frank: nobody except the truly feebleminded has ever, once, drawn a second's pleasure from going into a pub and hearing live music.’
      • ‘However, if you're truly serious about your fresh seafood, then you should make straight for the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar on King Street.’
      • ‘It may not seem like much out of context, but the effect within this song is truly wondrous.’
      • ‘Donald was truly honest when he said that he came for a few pints.’
      • ‘So, where would you go for a truly wild, absolute monster?’
      • ‘I'm sure he is a very, very, very nice chap in real life, but onstage, he is truly dreadful.’
      • ‘These are truly inspired and absolutely in keeping with the weird and wonderful world of Dr Seuss.’
      • ‘The story is truly frightening, the dead come to life and devour the city.’
      • ‘Still, these guys are serious musicians and haven't lost the touch of writing some truly wonderful songs.’
      • ‘I only ever got one truly awful grade on a paper, and man, did I deserve it.’
      • ‘None of which changes the fact that it's a truly grotesquely dreadful programme.’
      • ‘Having said all that the songs were truly magnificent.’
      • ‘This is an intimate, real, unshowy, deeply emotional, truly special performance.’
      • ‘The horse-riding sequences are truly excellent and an absolute blast.’
      • ‘And if you're stuck in a truly uncomfortable situation, speak with a flight attendant.’
      • ‘It was truly dreadful and it was not mercifully short.’
      • ‘Aren't you at least going to feel a bit sorry for the truly fabulous and real you that never gets to see the world again?’
      • ‘I learnt that I had the strength to get myself out of a truly dreadful situation - barely, but I did it.’
      really, absolutely, simply, utterly, totally, perfectly, thoroughly, positively, completely
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  • 3In actual fact or without doubt; really.

    ‘this is truly a miracle’
    • ‘Raise your hand if you resolved to really, seriously, truly get in shape this year.’
    • ‘Though if by some other miracle I was able to catch him, I truly doubt he would show as much strength’
    • ‘Take pride in the fact that you are truly unique, you're one of a kind; that's not weird.’
    • ‘This is truly, beyond any doubt, the best crab fritter you will ever have in your life.’
    • ‘She was a bit shocked to see how sincere he truly was.’
    • ‘Unlike the Tories who are a regional party of the English shires, we can truly say we speak for the wider community in Britain.’
    • ‘None of us have any doubt that this one truly will deliver.’
    • ‘It has a long way to go before it can merit serious consideration as a truly effective marketing tool.’
    • ‘Besides, there aren't many white rappers who can truly be taken seriously.’
    • ‘If imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery, his dad James should feel chuffed.’
    without doubt, without a doubt, unquestionably, undoubtedly, certainly, surely, definitely, beyond doubt, beyond question, indubitably, undeniably, beyond the shadow of a doubt
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  • 4archaic Loyally or faithfully.

    ‘why cannot all masters be served truly?’
    • ‘These are public servants who truly serve rather than act as our masters, and inspire us rather than destroy our confidence.’
    • ‘We need to learn our strengths and recognise our weaknesses to truly serve our armed services.’
    • ‘Only the government has the reach and power to design and oversee a pension system that truly serves all.’
    • ‘A city that truly serves its people must try to please the largest majority of ordinary citizens.’


  • yours truly

    • 1Used as a formula for ending a letter.

      • ‘It certainly wouldn't bother me to receive a letter signed "yours truly".’
      • ‘Addressed to 'Dear Boss' and dramatically written in red ink, it claimed to be from the killer and was signed 'Yours truly, Jack the Ripper'.’
      1. 1.1humorous Used to refer to oneself.
        ‘the demos will be organized by yours truly’
        • ‘In less than four short months, yours truly - and yours truly's better half - will be welcoming a new baby to the world.’
        • ‘For general information on mutual funds, here is the Wikipedia article, originally written by yours truly.’
        • ‘Once again, look for yours truly on his own domain next week.’
        • ‘Last Friday night a surprise 50th birthday party was organised for yours truly by the family.’
        • ‘Her most recent transgression involves yours truly, but it's hardly the first time she has embarrassed her employers.’


Old English trēowlīce ‘faithfully’(see true, -ly).