Etymology of trust by etymonline (2024)


c. 1200, "reliance on the veracity, integrity, or other virtues of someone or something; religious faith," from Old Norse traust "help, confidence, protection, support," from Proto-Germanic abstract noun *traustam (source also of Old Frisian trast, Dutch troost "comfort, consolation," Old High German trost "trust, fidelity," German Trost "comfort, consolation," Gothic trausti "agreement, alliance").

This is reconstructed to be from Proto-Germanic *treuwaz, source of Old English treowian "to believe, trust," and treowe "faithful, trusty" (from PIE root *deru- "be firm, solid, steadfast;" compare trow (v.), true (adj.)).

It is attested from c. 1300 as "reliability, trustworthiness; trustiness, fidelity, faithfulness;" from late 14c. as "confident expectation" and "that on which one relies."

It is recorded from early 15c. in the legal sense of "confidence placed in a one who holds or enjoys the use of property entrusted to him by its legal owner;" and by mid-15c. as "condition of being legally entrusted."

The meaning "businesses organized to reduce competition" is recorded from 1877. Trust-buster is recorded from 1903.

also from

c. 1200

trust (v.)

c. 1200, from Old Norse treysta "to trust, rely on, make strong and safe," from traust (see trust (n.)). Related: Trusted; trusting.

also from

c. 1200

Entries linking to trust


Old English treowan "to trust in, believe, hope, be confident; persuade, suggest; make true; be faithful (to), confederate with," from treow "faith, belief," from Proto-Germanic *treuwaz "having or characterized by good faith" (source also of Old Saxon truon, Old Frisian trouwa, Dutch vertrouwen "trust," Old High German triuwen, German trauen "hope, believe, trust"), "having or characterized by good faith," from PIE *drew-o-, a suffixed form of the root *deru- "be firm, solid, steadfast."


Middle English treu, from Old English triewe (West Saxon), treowe (Mercian) "faithful, trustworthy, honest, steady in adhering to promises, friends, etc.," from Proto-Germanic *treuwaz "having or characterized by good faith" (source also of Old Frisian triuwi, Dutch getrouw, Old High German gatriuwu, German treu, Old Norse tryggr, Danish tryg, Gothic triggws "faithful, trusty"), from PIE *drew-o-, a suffixed form of the root *deru- "be firm, solid, steadfast."

The sense of "consistent with fact" is recorded from c. 1200; that of "real, genuine, not counterfeit" is from late 14c.; that of "conformable to a certain standard" (as true north) is from c. 1550. Of artifacts, "accurately fitted or shaped" it is recorded from late 15c. Of aim, etc. "straight to the target, accurate," by 1801, probably from the notion of "sure, unerring."

True-love (n.) is Old English treowlufu. True-born (adj.) is attested from 1590s. True-false (adj.) as a type of test question is recorded from 1923. To come true (of dreams, etc.) is from 1819.

    anti-trustbrain trustcarteldistrustentrustmistrusttrusteetrustfultrustworthytrustytruth*deru-See all related words (14) >


Trends of trust

adapted from Ngrams are probably unreliable.

More to Explore

cartel1550s, "a written challenge, letter of defiance," from French cartel (16c.), from Italian cartello "placard," diminutive of carta "card" (see card (n.1)). It came to mean "written agreement between states at war" (1690s), for the exchange of prisoners or some other mutual advanta
truthMiddle English truþ, from Old English triewð (West Saxon), treowð (Mercian) "faith, faithfulness, fidelity, loyalty; veracity, quality of being true; pledge, covenant," from Germanic abstract noun *treuwitho, from Proto-Germanic treuwaz "having or characterized by good faith." Th
hopeOld English hopian "have the theological virtue of Hope; hope for (salvation, mercy), trust in (God's word)," also "to have trust, have confidence; assume confidently or trust" (that something is or will be so), a word of unknown origin. Not the usual Germanic term for this, but
fiduciary1640s, "holding something in trust," from Latin fiduciarius "entrusted, held in trust," from fiducia "trust, confidence,;" in law, "a deposit, pledge, security," from root of fidere "to trust" (from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, of the public....As a noun, "one who holds something in trust," from 1630s....
affiance"confidence, trust," from afier "to trust," from Late Latin affidare, from ad "to" (see ad-) + fidare "to trust," from fidus..."faithful" (from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade")....The earlier form of the word was affy (Middle English affien "to trust, have faith; have faith in" c. 1300), from Old French...
confidemid-15c., "to place trust or have faith," from Latin confidere "to trust in, rely firmly upon, believe," from assimilated...form of com, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + fidere "to trust" (from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide...
fianceeword in English), from French fiancée, fem. of fiancé, past participle of fiancer "to betroth," from fiance "a promise, trust...," from fier "to trust," from Vulgar Latin *fidare "to trust," from Latin fidus "faithful" from the same root as fides "faith..." (from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade")....
anticipate1530s, "to cause to happen sooner," a back-formation from anticipation, or else from Latin anticipatus, past participle of anticipare "take (care of) ahead of time," literally "taking into possession beforehand," from anti, an old form of ante "before" (from PIE root *ant- "front
consignmid-15c. (implied in consigned), "to ratify or certify by a sign or seal," from French consigner (15c.) and directly from Latin consignare "to seal, register," originally "to mark with a sign," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + signare "to sign, mark," fr
exceptlate 14c., excepten, "to receive," from Old French excepter (12c.), from Latin exceptus, past participle of excipere "to take out, withdraw; make an exception, reserve," from ex "out" (see ex-) + capere "to take," from PIE root *kap- "to grasp." Meaning "to leave out" is from 151

updated on December 22, 2023


Etymology of trust by etymonline (2024)
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