Show Search Results Show Browse

A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).

Trew(e, True, adj. (adv.). Also: treu, treow, trow(e, trw, truy, threw, thrue. [ME and e.m.E. trewe (c1200), trowwe (Orm), treowe (Layamon), tru, treu (both Cursor M.), trew (Manning), true (a1450), OE tréowe.]

A. adj. 1. Faithful, loyal, firm in allegiance (also, to a person, principle, etc.). Also lele and trew. Also absol.For many further examples of lele and trew, see Lel(e adj., passim.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xvi 556.
That of myn wyfis saule he rew, That to me wes traste & trew
a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii 693.
George wes the trewest knycht To Crist ymang al that lyf mycht
a1400 Leg. S. xli 320.
Thane tuk tha Emeranciane & lad hir … By the tom of Sanct Agnes, That hir trew falow al tym was
?1438 Alex. ii 3849.
Ȝe lufe with lele hart and trew Ane lady fare
c1450-2 Howlat 127 (A).
His secretar … That was the turtour trewest
c1475 Wall. i 86.
Erle Patrik than till Berweik couth persew; Ressawide he was and trastyt werray trew … Eftir mydnycht … Corspatryk rais … Leit breggis down [etc.]
c1475 Wall. ix 1274.
Till gud Wallace thai war als trew as steill
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 565.
Trew Troilus, vnfaithfull Cressida
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 271.
Quhair twelve thowsand trew Scottismen wer keild
1528 Douglas Corr. 127.
I have had ay trew mynd to serve above all utheris nixt eftir my soverane and maister
1560 Rolland Seven S. 6478.
I sall send word (quod scho) as I am trew
1562-3 Winȝet I 45/10.
Lat ws … pray that the Lorde of the wineȝarde send vs lauchfull treu workmen thairto
a1578 Pitsc. I 221/5.
They quha was fallis to ȝour father can never be trew to ȝour self
(b) c1517 Acta Conc. MS XXIX 211.
To be leyle treow servandis to the Kingis grace
(c) 1517 Moncreiffs 58.
I scal kep lawte and a lel trow part to my scaid lord
1519–20 Melville Chart. 61.
Me, Robart Orrok, … Kyndis and oblisis me, … to stande … trowe mane and serwande to ane honorable mane, Jhone Mailuil of the Raytht
(d) 1629 Hossack Kirkwall 259.
Confest … that she was not content, and that Walliman slew the meiris and the man, and as he promeised he was truy to his
absol. as noun 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 26.
Four lordis of the maist trew and famous of Scotland
1572 Sempill in Sat. P. xxx 153.
Sic vane excambion can I not considder, As marrow tratours and the trew togidder
a1585 Polwart Flyt. 811 (T).
Baill brewer, poysone spewer, mony trewer hes bene tint

2. Honest, honourable, trustworthy; decent, upright. c1460 Regim. Princ. 115 (Fairf.).
To cheis treu men that war of he prudence Of all [thi] guddis to haue the gouernale Quhilkis war nother wrechit gredy nor perchiale
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1270 (Ch.).
Fra the crownar haif laid on him his wand Thocht he wer trew as euer wes Sanct Johne, Slane sall he be
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1276.
Bot luke gif he be of ane trew intent
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1.
In the tyme of Arthur, as trew men me tald
c1475 Wall. vi 316.
Off ingen he was trew. In all his tyme gud service in him fand
a1500 Sir Eger 268.
Leeches that are true of plight, That ever man came in mister till
1516–17 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 39.
As I [am] ane trew man, I sall pa ye this daye xv dayis
1539 Chart. Coupar A. II 147.
The said Den Alexander hes faythfullie … be his professioun and aytht … declarit that he put neuer away ony of the saidis jewellis … has promittit and oblist him neuer to … defend the awaytakkaris … and sall give his threw and anefauld consall and assistence to the said abbot for the recouering of the samyn
1567 G. Ball. 88.
Goddis word and promit Is trewar, cleirar, and mair pure, Than siluer seuin tymes purifyit
a1585 Maitl. Q. 45/61.
Fyve hundreth theiffis strang At anis will thair remissioun speid And trew folk can get na remeid
1594 Acts IV 72/1.
Of trew mennis geir stollen or reft

b. Of material things: Sound, reliable. 15.. Christis Kirk 86 (M).
He forgeit it so ferslye, The bow in flenders flew … had the tre bene trew, Men said … That he had slane anew

3. Factually correct; that corresponds with reality. Also proverb. and absol. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2820.
Bot leif we now suche fantasy And torne we to the trewe story
c1475 Wall. ii 323.
Than sall I leiff na mar Giff that be trow
1490 Irland Mir. III 23/1.
The wourdis of a man has thar significacioun quhilis trew quhilis fals
a1500 Peblis to Play 18.
Be Goddis saull, that is trew
1523 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 68.
[They] passit to the said ground … and fand the said allegeans trew
1533 Boece 45b.
Gif this be trewe or feneȝete ȝe sall iuge the verite
1549 Compl. 17/24.
Homo est animal is treu, ande ȝit ve suld nocht say that ane man is ane beyst
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 125/14.
Truely, the vordes of our saluiour, saiand ‘This is my bodye’, ar as true as the vordes saynge ‘I and the Father ar boith one’
c1568 Lauder Minor P. i 30.
Ingraft in Christ Jesu Be the imbracing of his wourd most trew
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 872 (L).
I, … Thocht all thair taillis was trew
1584–5 Crim. Trials I ii 140.
And this is trew and ȝe can nocht deny the samin
1596 Dalr. I 318/19.
He … correctet mony errouris in the ecclesiastical historie, … in place of quhilkes he sett the trew truthe
1626 Justiciary Cases I 37.
The panell … declairis to my lord justice that it is trew that thair was ane tryst appointit at Dundie
1662 Crim. Trials III 607.
proverb. 15.. Clar. ii 628.
All is not trew that everie man dois tell
a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 508.
It is true that all men sayes
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS No. 387.
Evil newes ar oft tyms trewest
absol. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 394 (C).
Forsooth, in prestes is not new Yf [D. It] that of ould it [D. is] seyde for trew

b. In the phrase trew it is, prefacing a statement of fact. Also, parenthetically and with concessive force, treu. 1516 Fife Sheriff Ct. 144.
Thrue it is that I Williame Brone … makis it knawin [etc.]
1596 Highland P. I 153.
Trew it is … that Johne Campbell … divisit [and] interprisit the cruell … murther
1659 Melrose Reg. Rec. I 230.
Trew it is that he be his bestiall … hes eatin and distroyit the last cropt 1658
a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii 421.
In Capadoce, treu, wes I borne

4. Accurate, exact, precise; correct in terms of detail or contents. 1425 Liber Dryburgh 277.
The trew coppie of the principall dowbled over by me
1542–3 Acts II 415/1.
To haif the haly write … in the vulgar toung in Inglis or Scottis of ane gude and trew translatioun
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2554.
Gyff he wyll nocht heir thé, than mak it kend Tyll one, or two, be trew narratioun
c1575 Balfour Pract. 275.
The suitar, or dempstar of court sould sweir, that he sall mak leill and trew record in that court
1584–5 Waus Corr. 322.
Hir [ladyship] wald haif trew try of the waluritie of the landis
1585 James VI Ess. 15.
Or when I lyke my pen for to imploy Of fertile harvest in the description trew
1603 Stirling B. Rec. I 104.
To … gif up … ane trew inventer of the haill gudes that salhappin to be within the saidis schippis
1664 St. A. Baxter Bks. 129.
His positor comptis being sein and considered, ar fund treu and cleir
1562-92 Wode's Psalter (Tenor).
I … syngis my part with notis most trew As it efferis vnto my facultie

b. That conforms to a predetermined standard or measure of accuracy. 1615 Wedderb. Compt Bk. 145.
Lent Besse Wedderburn … ane treu flacon of a quarter to go with hir to Denmark and to be send hame immediately
1619 Dundee B. Laws 553.
The liberties … of … brether gild … in … litting in sic true cullouris as thay shall please
1647 J. Hope in Cochran-Patrick Coinage I lxxxi.
To sett vnder my hand the trew weight that the halfe crowne of silver … should weigh
1660 Conv. Burghs III 502.
The value of fyve thousand pund sterling, of copper money according to the trew standart of Scotland

5. Real, genuine; not false or counterfeit. Also absol. a1400 Leg. S. xxxvi 7.
Fore he wes the maste treu prophete, That of Jhesu spak
1456 Hay I 228/34.
[Madmen] may nocht mak testament [etc.] … For that requeris obligacioun and trew consent with wit seker and wele sett
c1475 Wall. i 22.
His forbearis … Of hale lynage and trew lyne of Scotland
a1508 Want of Wyse Men 46 (Ch. & M.).
Trevv lufe is lorne & lautee haldis no lynkis
1560 Acts II 531/1.
Sathan … hes inflamit the hartis of cruell murtheraris to … troubill and molest the trew kirk & memberis thairof
1562-3 Winȝet II 43/21.
His substance remanyng vnchangeable and takand the natuir on Him of a perfyte man, He mot be … nocht a fenȝeit, bot a trew persoun
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 345.
The lawfull and trew cunȝie … to be … delyuerit agane to the awner
a1578 Pitsc. I 67/17.
He beleifit this to be … but ane werie dreame and nocht trew wairning for the amendement of his curssed lyf
1581 Burne Disput. 3.
Ȝe ar constranit to grant that S. Paul meanis of ane treu and inhaerent iustice
1586 Misc. Bann. C. II 211.
Item the Too guid to be trew, secund pairt, ane, price vj s.
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 94.
Will ye speare at the ubiquiter, gif the true bodie of Christ be present?
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1567.
That is trew thorn, wil ye by a tuig
1677 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS 11 May.
Thomas Hawgh … bindis and obleises him to present the said Margarat trew prisoner within the said tolbooth upon the morrow
1678 Mackenzie Laws & C. i xxxii 2 (1678) 315.
It may be doubted if the true owner having lent them [sc. weapons] without being conscious to the crime, will losse them
absol. 1580 Acts III 191/1.
It is verie hard to ignorantis to decerne … the trew fra the fals [sc. coins]

b. Trew lufe, appar. some kind of ornamentation (? of precious stones) resembling a true-love knot or the true-love plant Herb Paris (Paris quadrifolia). a1500 Rauf C. 473.
Bricht braissaris of steill about his arme banis, Blandit with beriallis and cristallis cleir, Ticht ouir with thopas and trew lufe atanis

B. adv. 1. Faithfully, loyally. a1400 Leg. S. vi 684.
Thai that … sekis Hym dewotly & threw, sal hafe thare helpe in hy

2. Truthfully, rightly. 1494 Loutfut MS 43b.
All the laiff of herrauldis & pursewantis suld cry, all with a voce, he said trew
1560 Rolland Seven S. 10418.
Forsuith I say ȝow trew

3. Accurately, correctly; in the right way. c1420 Wynt. v 87 (W).
Be the sterne at led thaim trew Borne the king of Jowis thai knew

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Trew adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Sep 2022 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: