75 Truth Quotes That Will Set You Free

The truth can sometimes be scary! But these truth quotes about its importance will make it easier to swallow.

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Starting from our earliest youth, we’re told to always tell the truth—and that’s good advice. But the truth can be complicated and messy, and dictates to tell the truth don’t always account for how hard that can be. Truth is a crucial part of strong relationships and loyalty, and these words of wisdom will make you feel good as much as any uplifting quote. These truth quotes from big names, world leaders, self-help coaches, and more encourage honesty and the search for the truth—but some also acknowledge that unfiltered truth isn’t always good either. Being true to yourself is also a crucial part of truth—you should read these be yourself quotes too. And check out these quotes about change, since change is a crucial truth of life!

1. “The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.” —David Foster Wallace, author

2. Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth. —Kahlil Gibran, writer and artist

3. “Beauty is truth’s smile when she beholds her own face in a perfect mirror.” —Rabindranath Tagore, polymath and modernist

5. “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” —Oscar Wilde, writer

6. “The truth is effortless.” —Rashida Costa, actress and playwright, in 365 Days Smarter

7. “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” —Thomas Jefferson, former U.S. president

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8. “To reach that end goal you and I must be willing to be straightforward with one another. We must be willing and prepared to stare at ourselves in the mirror and speak the truth.” —Mark Devro, self-help coach, in Forever in Bloom

9. “Some people think that the truth can be hidden with a little cover-up and decoration. But as time goes by, what is true is revealed, and what is fake fades away.” —Ismail Haniyeh, Palestinian political leader 

10. “We learned about honesty and integrity—that the truth matters… that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules… and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.” —Michelle Obama, former First Lady. Michelle Obama offers more of her wisdom in her books Becoming and The Light We Carry. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves in these success quotes.

11. “If you want to have a healthy mind, you must feed your mind with truth.” —Rick Warren, pastor and author

12. “The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words the truth.” —Laozi, ancient philosopher

13. “The fact that a great many people believe something is no guarantee of its truth.” —W. Somerset Maugham, writer. Speaking of believing, do you believe in karma? These karma quotes might make you a believer!

14. “Truth isn’t always beauty, but the hunger for it is.” —Nadine Gordimer, writer, activist, and Nobel laureate 

15. “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” —Martin Luther King, Jr., reverend, orator, and activist

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17. “Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.” —Walt Whitman, poet

18. “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” —Arthur Conan Doyle, author

19. “There are few reasons for telling the truth, but for lying the number is infinite.” —Carlos Ruiz Zafón, novelist

20. “When you stretch the truth, watch out for the snapback.” —Bill Copeland, poet. Here are 100 of the funniest quotes from the past 100 years.

21. “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” —Buddha

22. “A lie is like a snowball; it starts off small and then grows and grows until a point where it gets so big it falls apart and then the truth is discovered.” —Chris Hughes, author, in Inspirational Quotes About Love, Life and Success

23. “There’s nothing so kingly as kindness, and nothing so royal as truth.” —Alice Cary, poet. After you read these truth quotes, check out these other inspiring kindness quotes.

24. “Our biggest fear is not in expressing the truth but that we will be attacked or belittled because of our truth.” —Kelli Wilson, organizer and entrepreneur, in The Clutter Breakthrough: Your Five-Step Solution to Freedom from Clutter Forever

25. “People often claim to hunger for truth, but seldom like the taste when it’s served up.” —George R.R. Martin, author

26. “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” —Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and writer

27. Those who know the truth are not equal to those who love it. —Confucius, Chinese philosopher

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28. “Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.” —Elvis Presley, singer

30. “No legacy is so rich as honesty.” —William Shakespeare, playwright. Hearing the truth can take patience—pair these truth quotes with patience quotes.

31. “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” —Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of the U.K.

32. “A truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.” —William Blake, poet

33. “Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.” —W. Clement Stone, businessman and writer

34. “Every mind must make its choice between truth and repose. It cannot have both.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer

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35. “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” —Albert Einstein, physicist

36. “A harmful truth is better than a useful lie.” —Thomas Mann, novelist and Nobel laureate

37. “Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief or ignorance.” —W. Clement Stone

38. “Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.” —Don Miguel Ruiz, spiritualist and author. Speaking of, here are our favorite love quotes!

39. “Half a truth is often a great lie.” —Benjamin Franklin, politician, philosopher, and writer

40. Every person must choose how much truth he can stand. —Irvin D. Yalom, psychiatrist

41. “There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth.” —Leo Tolstoy, author

42. “People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe.” —Andy Rooney, radio and TV writer and broadcaster

43. “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” —Abraham Lincoln, former U.S. president

44. “In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” —George Orwell, novelist and social critic

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45. “A great man does not seek applause or place; he seeks for truth; he seeks the road to happiness, and what he ascertains, he gives to others.” —Robert Green Ingersoll, lawyer and writer

46. “Learn what is true in order to do what is right.” —Thomas Huxley, biologist and anthropologist

47. “The truth is not for all men, but only for those who seek it.”  —Ayn Rand, writer and philosopher

48. “By doubting we are led to question; by questioning we arrive at the truth.” —Peter Abelard, philosopher and poet. These strength quotes will help facing the truth with these truth quotes easier.

49. “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.” —Malcolm X, activist and minister

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50. “Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.” —Warren Wiersbe, clergyman

51. “For every good reason there is to lie, there is a better reason to tell the truth.” —Bo Bennett, former U.S. Senator

52. “Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.” —Mahatma Gandhi, lawyer and activist

53. “To be Jedi is to face the truth, and choose.” —Yoda in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes BackCheck out more of our favorite quotes by Master Yoda.

54. “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” —Isaac Newton, mathematician and physicist

55. Telling a truth is not only a matter of character, but is also a matter of appreciating factual situations and representing them without bias. —M. K. Soni, author and homeopath

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57. “Honest communication is built on truth and integrity and upon respect of the one for the other.” —Benjamin E. Mays, minister and civil rights activist

58. Standing courageously for an unpopular opinion isn’t easy, but the rewards of standing courageously for the truth will last forever.” —Rick Warren

59. “Communication works best when we combine appropriateness with authenticity, finding that sweet spot where opinions are not brutally honest but delicately honest.” —Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook Chief Operating Officer

60. “There is one truth that must be sought after first before you can go further and that truth is that you must take charge of your own life for you cannot lead a life of truth if you let someone else take responsibility for your thoughts or actions.” —Byron Pulsifer, self-help author

61. “You can hate me. You can go out there and say anything you want about me, but you will love me later because I told you the truth.” —Mary J. Blige, singer and songwriter

62. “The truth is anyone can be the difference; all it takes is using whatever you have, to do whatever you can.” —Darius Graham, author and political scientist, in Being the Difference: True Stories of Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things to Change the World 

63. “A lie travels round the world while truth is putting her boots on.” —Unknown

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64. “To see the universal and all-pervading Spirit of Truth face to face one must be able to love the meanest of creation as oneself.” —Mahatma Gandhi. These hope quotes will instantly lift you up.

65. “You can’t outrun a lie forever. Eventually, you just end up hurting the people you care about. Sometimes it’s easier to just face the music and accept the fact that you made a mistake.” —Nate Heywood on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

66. “Truth is the torch that gleams through the fog without dispelling it.” —Claude Adrien Helvétius, philosopher

67. “Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.” —Buddha

68. Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold. —Leo Tolstoy

69. The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives. —Albert Einstein

70. “To live in the light of a new day and an unimaginable and unpredictable future, you must become fully present to a deeper truth—not a truth from your head, but a truth from your heart; not a truth from your ego, but a truth from the highest source.” —Debbie Ford, self-help author

71. “Morality is the basis of things and truth is the substance of all morality.” —Mahatma Gandhi

72. “Truth is so rare that it is delightful to tell it.” —Emily Dickinson, poet

74. “Truth crushed to earth shall rise again.” —William Cullen Bryant, poet and journalist
75. “If I could persuade every single person in the world to accept all of my beliefs, it would not make those beliefs correct. Nor would it change what is actually true.” —David Bercot, attorney and author, in Common Sense: A New Approach to Understanding Scripture. Next, check out these quotable spiritual quotes that will lift you up.

Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a word nerd who has been writing for RD.com since 2017. You can find her byline on pieces about grammar, fun facts, the meanings of various head-scratching words and phrases, and more. Meghan graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2017; her creative nonfiction piece “Anticipation” was published in the Spring 2017 issue of Angles literary magazine.