truth to tell
- (set phrase) Actually; frankly; as a matter of fact.
- 1838, Charles Dickens, chapter 51, in Oliver Twist:
- Truth to tell, the supper had been waiting a most unreasonable time.
- 1915, Harold MacGrath, chapter 13, in The Voice In The Fog:
- Haggerty had his trouble for nothing. There was no clue whatever in Lord Monckton's suite. . . . Truth to tell, Haggerty had not expected to find anything.
- 2008 April 17, David Van Biema, "The Pope on Academic Freedom," Time (retrieved 7 July 2015):
- In 1999 the American bishops mandated that if a college wanted to call itself Catholic, its theologians needed a bishop's good-housekeeping seal. And yet, truth to tell, the majority of Catholic schools hadn't really toed the line.
- Often used with the connotation that preceding statements have not been frank, forthcoming, or wholly correct.
- truth to tell at OneLook Dictionary Search