Definition of truly in US English:

truly

adverb

  • 1In a truthful way.

    ‘he speaks truly’
    • ‘I really have nothing bad to say about this show, truly and sincerely.’
    • ‘One can truly speak of nomenclatural chaos, even though Linnaeus's binomial system was widely employed.’
    • ‘‘Of the woe that is in marriage it is impossible to speak truly,’ he says of Godard and Karina.’
    • ‘Paul says that he can only truly speak of that which is physical not spiritual.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ignorant children can speak truly about Jesus because God has given them this insight and opened their mouths.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, these poems speak to me more truly than Bertrand Russell's glib quote.’
    • ‘It was simple and honest, the way only a child can truly speak.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Then if someone uttered this sentence 100 years ago, they spoke truly.’
    • ‘There was an almost awkward silence, in which a thousand words were exchanged, but none were truly spoken.’
    • ‘The old knight is of course referring to himself, and in the case of this production is speaking all too truly.’
    • ‘I truly and openly declare that I believe that the nation will become a republic over time.’
    truthfully, honestly, frankly, candidly, openly, to someone's face, without dissembling, laying one's cards on the table
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    1. 1.1 Used 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’
      ‘time to reflect on what we truly want’
      sentence adverb ‘truly, I don't understand you sometimes’
      • ‘I can imagine how frustrating it must be for those who truly do take it seriously.’
      • ‘And I really, truly, sincerely hope you feel exactly the same way about your work.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I really, sincerely, truly hope things are looking better for you, I really do.’
      • ‘How could any father not choose to do what he truly and sincerely thought was best under those circumstances?’
      • ‘I'm sure he is sincere and was truly shocked to find real, live homophobia out in the provinces.’
      • ‘This was a slip of the brain on our part for which we are truly, madly deeply sorry.’
      • ‘Hayden felt truly sincere and almost started to cry with his words.’
      • ‘Not everyone appreciates her properly so I was truly grateful.’
      • ‘We were truly, truly sorry that there was the shortfall in our initial funding of the foundation.’
      • ‘There was only one thing she could say, and so she said it, hoping that she could sound as sincere as she truly was.’
      • ‘If anything that is written here offends you, I am afraid that I am not truly sorry and I cannot sincerely apologise for it.’
      • ‘It truly was an emotional moment, and I swear I saw more than one tear filled eye among the delighted fans.’
      • ‘But if he were truly sorry, he would have admitted his crime and spared Caroline's family the anguish of a drawn-out trial.’
      • ‘It was obvious listening to Jim speak that he truly loves this industry and what he does.’
      • ‘Really, seriously, truly… how would you handle the situation with the recruiter?’
      • ‘An absolutely auspicious week for some serious concentrating on what it is you most truly madly deeply want this year.’
      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 or care about the residents’
    as submodifier ‘a truly free press’
    • ‘The best way to truly understand it is to give it a whirl.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Even with all the controversy over stem cells, how many of our elected leaders truly understand their uses?’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘Still, hardly anyone truly understands what to do with addicts.’
    • ‘When I moved to Canada and got a wheelchair, I truly understood how different I was from other kids.’
    • ‘When journalists fear for their lives, one cannot say the press is truly free.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Now, Will finds that frustrating, and we can truly understand that.’
    • ‘I guess I will never be able to truly understand consumer fundamentalists.’
    • ‘What I am saying is that occasional errors are inevitable with a truly free press.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It's a salutary reminder that only the genuinely elderly truly know what it is to be old.’
    • ‘That decade truly represented the age of parity, relatively speaking.’
    • ‘And yet, there are certain tools to understanding mankind that are truly universal.’
    • ‘And right at the time when I needed help, he was there and truly understood me.’
    • ‘If they're truly interested in speaking with one voice then it's inevitable that the accents will start to fade over time.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In order for them to have a truly free choice, they would have to be properly informed of and educated about all their options.’
    accurately, correctly, exactly, precisely, faithfully, closely, unerringly
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    1. 2.1as submodifier Absolutely or completely (used to emphasize a description)
      ‘a truly dreadful song’
      • ‘The horse-riding sequences are truly excellent and an absolute blast.’
      • ‘This is an intimate, real, unshowy, deeply emotional, truly special performance.’
      • ‘This is a truly dreadful movie, a hotchpotch of historical inaccuracies and romantic fiction.’
      • ‘These are truly inspired and absolutely in keeping with the weird and wonderful world of Dr Seuss.’
      • ‘I'm sure he is a very, very, very nice chap in real life, but onstage, he is truly dreadful.’
      • ‘She's got this truly terrible habit of emphasising random syllables in news reports.’
      • ‘It may not seem like much out of context, but the effect within this song is truly wondrous.’
      • ‘And if you're stuck in a truly uncomfortable situation, speak with a flight attendant.’
      • ‘Donald was truly honest when he said that he came for a few pints.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I learnt that I had the strength to get myself out of a truly dreadful situation - barely, but I did it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So, where would you go for a truly wild, absolute monster?’
      • ‘However, if you're truly serious about your fresh seafood, then you should make straight for the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar on King Street.’
      • ‘The story is truly frightening, the dead come to life and devour the city.’
      • ‘Having said all that the songs were truly magnificent.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘It was truly dreadful and it was not mercifully short.’
      • ‘Still, these guys are serious musicians and haven't lost the touch of writing some truly wonderful songs.’
      • ‘He was a truly appalling candidate to begin with, and his campaign was a disaster.’
      really, absolutely, simply, utterly, totally, perfectly, thoroughly, positively, completely
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  • 3In fact or without doubt; really.

    ‘this is truly a miracle’
    • ‘If imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery, his dad James should feel chuffed.’
    • ‘She was a bit shocked to see how sincere he truly was.’
    • ‘Take pride in the fact that you are truly unique, you're one of a kind; that's not weird.’
    • ‘Raise your hand if you resolved to really, seriously, truly get in shape this year.’
    • ‘Unlike the Tories who are a regional party of the English shires, we can truly say we speak for the wider community in Britain.’
    • ‘Besides, there aren't many white rappers who can truly be taken seriously.’
    • ‘This is truly, beyond any doubt, the best crab fritter you will ever have in your life.’
    • ‘None of us have any doubt that this one truly will deliver.’
    • ‘Though if by some other miracle I was able to catch him, I truly doubt he would show as much strength’
    • ‘It has a long way to go before it can merit serious consideration as a truly effective marketing tool.’
    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.’
    • ‘A city that truly serves its people must try to please the largest majority of ordinary citizens.’
    • ‘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.’

Phrases

  • 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’
        • ‘Her most recent transgression involves yours truly, but it's hardly the first time she has embarrassed her employers.’
        • ‘In less than four short months, yours truly - and yours truly's better half - will be welcoming a new baby to the world.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘For general information on mutual funds, here is the Wikipedia article, originally written by yours truly.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

truly

/ˈtruli//ˈtro͞olē/