O.E. triewe (W.Saxon), treowe (Mercian) "faithful, trustworthy," from P.Gmc. *trewwjaz "having or characterized by good faith" (cf. O.Fris. triuwi, Du. getrouw, O.H.G. gatriuwu, Ger. treu, O.N. tryggr, Goth. triggws "faithful, trusty"), perhaps ultimately from PIE *dru- "tree," on the notion of "steadfast as an oak." Cf., from same root, Lith. drutas "firm," Welsh drud, O.Ir. dron "strong," Welsh derw "true," O.Ir. derb "sure." Sense of "consistent with fact" first recorded c.1200; that of "real, genuine, not counterfeit" is from late 14c.; that of "agreeing with a certain standard" (as true north) is from c.1550. Of artifacts, "accurately fitted or shaped" it is recorded from late 15c.; the verb in this sense is from 1841. Truism "self-evident truth" is from 1708, first attested in writings of Swift. True-love (adj.) is recorded from late 15c.; true-born first attested 1590s. True-false as a type of test question is recorded from 1923.