ring true: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘ring true’ mean?

The idiom "ring true" means that something seems genuine or believable.

Idiom Explorer

Uncovering Veracity

When something "rings false," it means that it sounds or feels unconvincing or insincere. The phrase "ring false" is the opposite of "ring true." While "ring true" implies authenticity and reliability, "ring false" suggests the opposite -- that something is not genuine or believable. It is often used to express doubt or skepticism towards a statement or claim. For example, if someone makes a statement that contradicts well-known facts or seems illogical, it can be said that the statement "rings false."

The authenticity of her story didn't ring true.

The idiom "ring hollow" is another related phrase that is used to describe something that sounds or feels empty, insincere, or lacking in substance. When something "rings hollow," it means that although it may seem plausible on the surface, it feels hollow or empty upon closer examination. The phrase is often used to express skepticism or doubt towards a promise, apology, or explanation. For instance, if someone makes an apology that lacks sincerity or substance, it can be said that the apology "rings hollow."

These related idioms, "ring false" and "ring hollow," have similarities to the idiom "ring true" in that they all involve the metaphorical sense of sound. However, while "ring true" implies authenticity and reliability, "ring false" suggests doubt or skepticism, and "ring hollow" indicates emptiness or insincerity. These idioms reflect the nuances of language and the importance of finding the right words to convey meaning accurately and effectively.

Example usage

Examples of how the idiom *ring true* can be used in a sentence:

  1. The statement made by the witness didn't ring true as there were several inconsistencies in her story.
  2. After reading the article, her explanation about the crime started to ring true and I believed her innocence.
  3. His promise to always be there for me in times of need didn't ring true because he never showed up when I needed him the most.

More "Veracity" idioms