Truth Quotes


  • The wayfarer,
    Perceiving the pathway to truth,
    Was struck with astonishment.
    It was thickly grown with weeds.
    “Ha,” he said,
    “I see that none has passed here
    In a long time.”
    Later he saw that each weed
    Was a singular knife.
    “Well,” he mumbled at last,
    “Doubtless there are other roads.”
    o Stephen Crane, “The Wayfarer” (1899)

  • A liar is one who is too good to be true.
    o Leonid S. Sukhorukov, All About Everything

  • Actions are the fruit of all truth, it is by your words you may be heard, but by your actions you will be judged.
    o Joe Maclaine, Police Blogger. [1]

  • All great truths begin as blasphemies.
    o George Bernard Shaw, Annajanska

  • Beauty is truth, truth beauty, — that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
    o John Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”

  • Truth is an arrow and the gate is narrow…that it passes through
    o Bob Dylan, When He Returns

  • Honesty is the best poetry.
    o Gregory Alan Elliott, Canadian Artist/Designer

  • I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
    o Jesus — John 14:6

  • The enemy is subtle, how be it we’re deceived? When the truth’s in our hearts and we still don’t believe?
    o Bob Dylan, Precious Angel

  • I smile when I’m angry, I cheat and I lie. I do what I have to do to get by. But I know what is wrong and I know what is right, and I’d die for the truth in my secret life.
    o Leonard Cohen in In my Secret Life

  • In order to be effective truth must penetrate like an arrow — and that is likely to hurt.
    o Posthumous Pieces by Wei Wu Wei

  • Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
    o Sherlock Holmes in “A Scandal in Bohemia” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  • The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbable lacks.
    o Dirk Gently in “The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul” by Douglas Adams

  • The truth. It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.
    o Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, written by J.K. Rowling.

  • There is some fiction in your truth, and some truth in your fiction. To know the truth, you must risk everything.
    o The Animatrix

  • To say of what is, that it is, or of what is not, that it is not, is true.
    o Aristotle in Metaphysics (Book 4)

  • What is truth?
    o Pontius Pilate, the Gospel of John.

  • What is truth? said jesting Pilate, but would not stay for an answer.
    o Francis Bacon, Essays 1: Of truth

  • What then is truth? A movable host of metaphors, metonymies, and; anthropomorphisms: in short, a sum of human relations which have been poetically and rhetorically intensified, transferred, and embellished, and which, after long usage, seem to a people to be fixed, canonical, and binding.
    o Friedrich Nietzsche, On truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense

  • You can’t handle the truth.
    o Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men

  • Yet ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
    o -John 8:3

  • The Ultimate Truth is called God. This one can realize in the state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. A circle can have only one centre but it can have numerous radii. The centre can be compared to God and the radii to religions. So, no one sect, no one religion or book can make an absolute claim of It. He who works for It gets It.
    o Swami Narayanananda, in Selected Articles 1933-86

  • Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is the best!
    o Frank Zappa, Joe’s Garage

  • But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing. The sun needs no inscription to distinguish him from darkness.
    o Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man

  • It is a fool’s prerogative to utter truths that no one else will speak.
    o Neil Gaiman, Dream Country

  • It takes two to speak the truth — one to speak, and another to hear.
    o Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

  • If you would be a real seeker after truth, you must at least once in your life doubt, as far as possible, all things.
    o René Descartes, Discours de la Methode

  • Who dares / To say that he alone has found the truth?
    o Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Christus

  • Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few.
    o George Berkeley, Siris, par. 368

  • Truth will triumph. It always does. However, I figure truth is a variable, so we’re right back where we started from.
    o Galloway Gallegher, in “The Proud Robot” by Lewis Padgett (Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore)

  • Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction.
    o Lord Byron, Don Juan

  • Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived.
    o Oscar Wilde, The Critic As Artist

  • If one tells the truth, one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out.
    o Oscar Wilde, Phrases and Philosophies for the use of the young (The Chameleon, December 1894)

  • There are no whole truths: All truths are half-truths.
    o Alfred North Whitehead, Dialogues: Recorded by Lucien

  • Truth makes on the surface of nature no one track of light — every eye looking on finds its own.
    o Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Caxtoniana

  • Pure truth no man has seen, nor ever shall know.
    o Xenophanes, Fragments

  • Just gimme some truth — all I want is the truth.
    o John Lennon, “Gimme Some Truth”

  • The errors of great men are venerable because they are more fruitful then the truths of little men.
    o Friedrich Nietzsche, Critique of Schopenhauer

  • Your [God’s] word is truth.
    o Jesus Christ, as recorded in John 17:17

  • When truth cannot make itself known in words, it will make itself known in deeds.
    o Roger Scruton, The New Criterion, Sept 2006, p.22.

  • If the truth were a palpable object, it would be a modeling clay.
    o André Dahmer, from the Brazilian webcomic Malvados

  • The national argument right now is, one, who’s got the truth and, two, who’s got the facts… Until we can manage to get the two of them back together again, we’re not going to make much progress.
    o “Linguists Vote ‘Truthiness’ Word of 2005”, AP via Yahoo! News, 6 January 2006
    o Michael Adams, lexicology professor at North Carolina State University, discussing the neologism “truthiness”, defined as “the quality of stating concepts one wishes or believes to be true, rather than the facts”

  • The truth is not beautiful — it stands on cloven hooves — it is covered in coagulated blood — but it is the truth..
    o Mark Mirabello The Cannibal Within

  • The “general welfare” is not the sphere of truth; for truth demands to be declared even if it is ugly and unethical.
    o Friedrich Nietzsche, “On Ethics”

  • Maybe if we tell the truth about the past, we can tell the truth about the present.
    o Ken Loach Cannes Festival Awards 2006 [2]

  • Truth is a very difficult concept, many faceted.
    o Joe Joseph and Michael Dynes, “Faded idol returns with same old song”, The Times, 7 October 1993.
    o Ian McDonald, senior Ministry of Defence Civil Servant, giving evidence to the Scott Inquiry on 6 October 1993.

  • “Sometimes lies were more dependable than the truth.” — Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card.
  • Boris asked him to tell them how and where he got his wound. This pleased Rostov and he began talking about it, and as he went on became more and more animated. He told them of his Schon Grabern affair, just as those who have taken part in a battle generally do describe it, that is, as they would like it to have been, as they have heard it described by others, and as sounds well, but not at all as it really was. Rostov was a truthful young man and would on no account have told a deliberate lie. He began his story meaning to tell everything just as it happened, but imperceptibly, involuntarily, and inevitably he lapsed into falsehood. If he had told the truth to his hearers–who like himself had often heard stories of attacks and had formed a definite idea of what an attack was and were expecting to hear just such a story–they would either not have believed him or, still worse, would have thought that Rostov was himself to blame since what generally happens to the narrators of cavalry attacks had not happened to him. He could not tell them simply that everyone went at a trot and that he fell off his horse and sprained his arm and then ran as hard as he could from a Frenchman into the wood. Besides, to tell everything as it really happened, it would have been necessary to make an effort of will to tell only what happened. It is very difficult to tell the truth, and young people are rarely capable of it. His hearers expected a story of how beside himself and all aflame with excitement, he had flown like a storm at the square, cut his way in, slashed right and left, how his saber had tasted flesh and he had fallen exhausted, and so on. And so he told them all that.
    o Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace, Bk. III, Chap. 7

  • At every step one has to wrestle for truth; one has to surrender for it almost everything to which the heart, to which our love, our trust in life, cling otherwise. That requires greatness of soul: the service of truth is the hardest service. What does it mean, after all, to have integrity in matters of the spirit? That one is severe against one’s heart…that one makes of every Yes and No a matter of conscience.
    o Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist


  • “It does not require many words to speak the thruth.”— Chief Joseph
  • “Any fool can be honest, for it is only what he knows. A wise man is aware of when to share the truth.” Vedran Empress Yoweri XXIII, CY 2932.
  • “Evil spreads with the wind; truth is capable of speading even against it.” — Paramahansa Yogananda
  • “He who loves truth looks her straight in the eye.” – Leonid S. Sukhorukov
  • “Lies, however numerous, will be caught by truth when it rises up.” — Anonymous
  • “Look within for truth, look without for reality.” – Richard B. Autry, April 12, 1983
  • “One man’s truth is another man’s lies.” – Anonymous
  • “The most difficult thing in life to do is explaining truth.” — Anonymous
  • “The voice of truth is easily known.” — Anonymous
  • “Truth certainly would do well enough, if she were once left to shift for herself. … She is not taught by laws, nor has she any need of force, to procure her entrance into the minds of men.” — John Locke, January 31, 1689
  • “Truth comes as conqueror only to those who have lost the art of receiving it as friend.” — Rabindranath Tagore
  • Mankind will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on. – Winston Churchill
  • “The opposite of a correct statement is an incorrect statement, but the opposite of a profound truth is another profound truth.” — Niels Bohr
  • “Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.” — Albert Einstein
  • “Truth — Something somehow discreditable to someone.” — H.L. Mencken
  • “Truth exists — only lies are invented.” — Georges Braque
  • “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” — Philip K. Dick
  • “To me, truth is not some vague, foggy notion. Truth is real. And, at the same time, unreal. Fiction and fact and everything in between, plus some things I can’t remember, all rolled into one big ‘thing’. This is truth, to me.” — Jack Handey
  • “One of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may . . . We should gather all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up, or we shall not come out true Mormons.” — Joseph Smith, Jr.
  • “The quest to abandon illusions about our condition is also a quest to abandon conditions which support illusions.” — Anonymous
  • “Show up & choose to be present, pay attention to what has heart and meaning, tell the truth without blame or judgment, and be open rather than attached to the outcome.” — Angeles Arrien
  • “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “When a great truth once gets abroad in the world, no power on earth can imprison it, or prescribe its limits, or suppress it. It is bound to go on till it becomes the thought of the world.” — Frederick Douglass
  • “The language of truth is unadorned and always simple.” — Marcellinus Ammianus
  • “He said true things, but called them by wrong names.” — Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • “Tell the truth and run.” — Serbian proverb
  • “The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them.” — Stephen King
  • “Truth would quickly cease to become stranger than fiction, once we got as used to it.” — H. L. Mencken
  • “I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant.” — H. L. Mencken
  • “Truth has rough flavours if we bite it through.” — George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross)
  • “A man protesting against error is on the way towards uniting himself with all men that believe in truth.” — Thomas Carlyle
  • “Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders than from the arguments of its opposers.” — George Prentice
  • “I don’t give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it is hell.” — Harry Truman
  • “Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.” — Mark Twain
  • “There are truths that are not for all men, nor for all times.” — Richard Whately
  • “There are no whole truths. All truths are half truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil.” — Oscar Wilde
  • “I believe it is an established maxim in morals that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false, is guilty of falsehood; and the accidental truth of the assertion, does not justify or excuse him.” — Abraham Lincoln
  • “Perhaps, moreover, he whose genius appears deepest and truest excels his fellows in nothing save the knack of expression; he throws out occasionally a lucky hint at truths of which every human soul is profoundly though unutterably conscious.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • “Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Everything you add to the truth subtracts from the truth.” — Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” — George Orwell
  • “The truth of a proposition has nothing to do with its credibility. And vice versa.” — Robert A. Heinlein
  • “In a time of universal deceit — telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” — George Orwell
  • “The truth is never sad, but it has no remedy.” — Joan Manuel Serrat
  • “Yet the deepest truths are best read between the lines, and, for the most part, refuse to be written.” — Amos Bronson Alcott
  • “As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand.” — Josh Billings
  • “Pretty much all the honest truth-telling there is in the world is done by children.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • “Truths turn into dogmas the minute they are disputed. ” — Gilbert Keith Chesterton
  • “It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen, while the latter lies in the depth, where few are willing to search for it.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • “It is easier to find a score of men wise enough to discover the truth than to find one intrepid enough, in the face of opposition, to stand up for it.” — A. A. Hodge
  • “From error to error, one discovers the entire truth.” — Sigmund Freud
  • “Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth.” — Mahatma Gandhi
  • “Chase after truth like hell and you’ll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat-tails.” — Clarence Darrow
  • …the word ‘truth’ applies to a man’s dignity. Simon Soloveychik Parenting for Everyone (1989)
  • “Propaganda must not serve the truth, especially insofar as it might bring out something favourable for the opponent.” — Adolf Hitler
  • “The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it seems to me the deepest root of all evil that is in the world.” — Max Born (1882-1970), German physicist
  • “Man is fed with fables through life, and leaves it in the belief he knows something of what has been passing, when in truth he has known nothing but what has passed under his own eye.” — Thomas Jefferson
  • “Peace if possible, truth at all costs.” — Martin Luther
  • “Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors.” — Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895)
  • “My convictions, positive and negative, on all the matters of which you speak, are of long and slow growth and are firmly rooted. But the great blow which fell on me [Huxley’s little son had died some days earlier] seemed to stir them to their foundation, and had I lived a couple of centuries earlier I could have fancied a devil scoffing at me and them — and asking me what profit it was to have stripped myself of the hopes and consolations of the mass of mankind? To which my only reply was and is — Oh devil! Truth is better than much profit. I have searched over the grounds of my belief, and if wife and child and name and fame were all to be lost to me one after the other as the penalty, still I will not lie.” — Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895)
  • “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.” — Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
  • “No pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage-ground of truth.” — Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
  • “I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” — Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
  • “There are but few saints amongst scientists, as among other men, but truth itself is a goal comparable with sanctity.” — George Sarton (1884-1956)
  • “Basically, I have this theory that there are five kinds of truth. (This is Joe’s Theory of the Five Truths.) There is the truth you tell to casual strangers and acquaintances. There is the truth you tell to your general circle of friends and family members. There is the truth you tell to only one or two people in your entire life. There is the truth you tell to yourself. And finally, there is the truth that you do not admit even to yourself. And it’s that fifth truth that provides some of the most interesting drama …” — J. Michael Straczynski (creator of the TV serial Babylon 5)
  • “Nothing is true. All is permitted.” Last words of Hassan i Sabbah.
    o This also occurs in the Thomas Common translation of Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

  • “You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all the time.” — Abraham Lincoln
  • “The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple” — Oscar Wilde
  • “I have said to you to speak the truth is a painful thing. To be forced to tell lies is much worse.”
  • “Honesty is the best policy, therefore by the process of elimination, dishonesty is the second best policy.” — Anonymous
  • “Believing something that is not truth is a waste of time.” — Anonymous
  • “If a man tells a lie, thinking it is the truth, does that make him a liar?” — Sudo
  • “Between the truth and the search for truth, I choose the latter” – Anonymous
  • “The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth.” – Niels Bohr
  • “Not to oppose error is to approve of it, and not to defend truth is to suppress it, and, indeed, to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is not less a sin than to encourage them.” – Pope Felix III
  • The Truth is Out There – The X-Files
  • (advice on lying effectively) “It’s not a lie if you believe it.” – George Costanza, Seinfeld
  • “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” – Mark Twain
  • “There are always four sides to a story: your side, their side, the truth and what really happened.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • “When a very high level of Truth & Honesty with one’s self is reached for & obtained you will no longer be compatible or compliant with the system of things & ways of this World as you once were!” – Ash Schoeff
  • “You need not tell all the truth, unless to those who have a right to know it all, but let all you tell be truth. — Horace Mann
  • “The truth hurts, but it makes us see the world a hell of a lot differently” – Michael Wilson
  • “Something is not true because most people think it is. Worst yet, something is not true because the entire world believes it is not.” – Anonymous
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