Truth is that which is in accord with reality, fact, and experience, that which is authentic. Truth can include facts, and truth can include a coherence with experience. The word in English derives from an older word similar to that meaning faithful (truth is that which is faithful to reality or experience), and ultimately is derived from a root meaning tree. To be truthful is to be as straight and strong as a tree. Other languages have words for truth (veritas, pravda, etc.) that have different derivations.

These quotations explore aspects of truth and truth-telling.

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Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.

Great learning and superior abilities … will be of little value and small estimation unless virtue, honor, truth, and integrity are added to them.

— Abigail Adams

It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: ‘And this, too, shall pass away.’

— Abraham Lincoln

Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.

— Abraham Lincoln

How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four; calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.

— Abraham Lincoln

False history gets made all day, any day,
the truth of the new is never on the news.

— Adrienne Rich

When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.

— Adrienne Rich

In war, truth is the first casualty.

— Aeschylus

It is the human condition to question one god after another, one appearance after another, or better, one apparition after another, always pursuing the truth of the imagination, which is not the same as the truth of appearance.

— Alain (Émile-Auguste Chartier)

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted in important affairs.

— Albert Einstein

Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.

— Albert Einstein

The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. . . . The ordinary objects of human endeavour — property, outward success, luxury — have always seemed to me contemptible.

— Albert Einstein

[M]y consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has preserved me from feeling isolated.

— Albert Einstein

The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth.

— Albert Einstein

Love casts out fear; but conversely fear casts out love. And not only love. Fear also casts out intelligence, casts out goodness, casts out all thought of beauty and truth.

— Aldous Huxley

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

— Alfred Lord Tennyson

There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative.

— Allan Bloom

The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself.

— Anaïs Nin

When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow.

— Anaïs Nin

Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.

— Andre Gide

Your problem is how you are going to spend this one and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.

— Anne Lamott

Any time you are with anyone or think of anyone you must say to yourself: I am dying and this person too is dying, attempting the while to experience the truth of the words you are saying. If every one of you agrees to practice this, bitterness will die out, harmony will arise.

— Anthony de Mello

Religion is at its best when it makes us ask hard questions of ourselves. It is at its worst when it deludes us into thinking we have all the answers for everybody else.

— Archibald Macleish

The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think.

— Aristotle

Philosophy is the science which considers truth.

— Aristotle

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

— Arthur Schopenhauer

To free a man from error is to give, not take away.

— Arthur Schopenhauer

One falsehood spoils a thousand truths.

— Ashanti Proverb

My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you. But for every real word spoken, for every attempt I had ever made to speak those truths for which I am still seeking, I had made contact with other women while we examined the words to fit a world in which we all believed, bridging our differences.

— Audre Lorde, The Cancer Journals

Among us, on the other hand, ‘the righteous man lives by faith.’ Now, if you take away positive affirmation, you take away faith, for without positive affirmation nothing is believed. And there are truths about things unseen, and unless they are believed, we cannot attain to the happy life, which is nothing less than life eternal.

— Augustine of Hippo
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