Truth


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

TRUTH. The actual state of things.
     2. In contracts, the parties are bound to toll the truth in their dealings, and a deviation from it will generally avoid the contract; Newl. on Contr. 352-3; 2 Burr. 1011; 3 Campb. 285; and even concealment, or suppressio veri, will be considered fraudulent in the contract of insurance. 1 Marsh. on Ins. 464; Peake's N. P. C. 115; 3 Campb. 154, 506.
     3. In giving his testimony, a witness is required to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; for the object in the examination of matters of fact, is to ascertain truth.
     4. When a defendant is sued civilly for slander or a libel, he may justify by giving the truth in evidence; but when a criminal prosecution is instituted by the commonwealth for a libel, he cannot generally justify by giving the truth in evidence.
     5. The constitutions of several of the United States have made special provisions in favor of giving the truth in evidence in prosecutions for libels, under particular circumstances. In the constitutions of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, it is declared, that in publications for libels on men in respect to their public official conduct, the truth may be given in evidence, when the matter published was proper for public information. The constitution of New York declares, that in all prosecutions or indictments for libels, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libelous, is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted. By constitutional provision in Mississippi and Missouri, and by legislative enactment in New Jersey, Arkansas, Tennessee, Act of 1805, c. 6: and Vermont, Rev. Stat. tit. 11, c. 25, s. 68; the right to give the truth in evidence has been more extended; it applies to all prosecutions or indictments for libels, without any qualifications annexed in restraint of the privilege. Cooke on Def. 61.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
I would put myself in the attitude to look in the eye an abstract truth, and I cannot.
Each truth that a writer acquires is a lantern, which he turns full on what facts and thoughts lay already in his mind, and behold, all the mats and rubbish which had littered his garret become precious.
I have so far assumed as unquestionable the view that the truth or falsehood of a belief consists in a relation to a certain fact, namely the objective of the belief.
The suggestion we are to examine is that such: beliefs have some recognizable quality which secures their truth, and the truth of whatever is deduced from them according to self-evident principles of inference.
Of this the enquirers of the seventeenth century, who to themselves appeared to be working out independently the enquiry into all truth, were unconscious.
The 'eternal truths' of which metaphysicians speak have hardly ever lasted more than a generation.
So that the greatest advantage I derived from the study consisted in this, that, observing many things which, however extravagant and ridiculous to our apprehension, are yet by common consent received and approved by other great nations, I learned to entertain too decided a belief in regard to nothing of the truth of which I had been persuaded merely by example and custom; and thus I gradually extricated myself from many errors powerful enough to darken our natural intelligence, and incapacitate us in great measure from listening to reason.
I revered our theology, and aspired as much as any one to reach heaven: but being given assuredly to understand that the way is not less open to the most ignorant than to the most learned, and that the revealed truths which lead to heaven are above our comprehension, I did not presume to subject them to the impotency of my reason; and I thought that in order competently to undertake their examination, there was need of some special help from heaven, and of being more than man.
they do not know, and cannot tell; but in order that they may not appear to be at a loss, they repeat the ready-made charges which are used against all philosophers about teaching things up in the clouds and under the earth, and having no gods, and making the worse appear the better cause; for they do not like to confess that their pretence of knowledge has been detected-- which is the truth; and as they are numerous and ambitious and energetic, and are drawn up in battle array and have persuasive tongues, they have filled your ears with their loud and inveterate calumnies.
"Well, I rely on the goodness and truth of my master," said Sancho; "and so, because it bears upon what we are talking about, I would ask, speaking with all reverence, whether since your worship has been shut up and, as you think, enchanted in this cage, you have felt any desire or inclination to go anywhere, as the saying is?"
"Well," announced the shaggy man, "it's my turn next." He took off his shaggy coat and laid it on the grass and dived head first into the Truth Pond.
Piers described to the pilgrims all the long way that they must go in order to find Truth. He told them that they must go through Meekness; that they must cross the ford Honor-your-father and turn aside from the brook Bear-no-false-witness, and so on and on until they come at last to Saint Truth.