the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth

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the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth

The absolute truth about something, without omission, embellishment, or alteration. Used to swear in witnesses while giving evidence in court, and used by extension in other contexts. Place your hand on the Bible—do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Where did the money go? Tell me the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
See also: and, but, nothing, truth, whole

the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth

the full and unvarnished truth.
These words are part of the statement sworn by witnesses giving evidence in court. They are often used informally to emphasize the absolute veracity of a statement.
See also: and, but, nothing, truth, whole
References in classic literature ?
It was much upon my mind (particularly when I first saw him looking about for his file) that I ought to tell Joe the whole truth. Yet I did not, and for the reason that I mistrusted that if I did, he would think me worse than I was.
"That is what I want," said Sancho; "and what I would know, and have you tell me, without adding or leaving out anything, but telling the whole truth as one expects it to be told, and as it is told, by all who profess arms, as your worship professes them, under the title of knights-errant-"
"The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?" I said solemnly.
If I had written the whole truth to you, I dare say you would have thrown up everything and have come to us, even if you had to walk all the way, for I know your character and your feelings, and you would not let your sister be insulted.
Elinor had often wished for an opportunity of attempting to weaken her mother's dependence on the attachment of Edward and herself, that the shock might be less when the whole truth were revealed, and now on this attack, though almost hopeless of success, she forced herself to begin her design by saying, as calmly as she could, "I like Edward Ferrars very much, and shall always be glad to see him; but as to the rest of the family, it is a matter of perfect indifference to me, whether I am ever known to them or not."
He decided to omit them, and then, if the whole truth must be confessed, his indolence shrunk from the task of rewriting the three lost chapters.
"I should not be doing my duty, Count," he said in timid tones, "and should not justify your confidence and the honor you have done me in choosing me for your second, if at this grave, this very grave, moment I did not tell you the whole truth. I think there is no sufficient ground for this affair, or for blood to be shed over it....
"You promise, sooner or later, to tell me the whole truth?" he said
Tell me therefore the whole truth, and conceal nothing."
Every one who has heard you speak has felt, and, I am confident, every one who reads your book will feel, persuaded that you give them a fair specimen of the whole truth. No one-sided portrait, --no wholesale complaints,--but strict justice done, whenever individual kindliness has neutralized, for a moment, the deadly system with which it was strangely allied.
Tom said, "He scorned a lie as much as any one: but he thought his honour engaged him to act as he did; for he had promised the poor fellow to conceal him: which," he said, "he thought himself farther obliged to, as the gamekeeper had begged him not to go into the gentleman's manor, and had at last gone himself, in compliance with his persuasions." He said, "This was the whole truth of the matter, and he would take his oath of it;" and concluded with very passionately begging Mr Allworthy "to have compassion on the poor fellow's family, especially as he himself only had been guilty, and the other had been very difficultly prevailed on to do what he did.
I had even imagined that the public would never know the whole truth of the prodigious case known as that of The Yellow Room, out of which grew so many mysterious, cruel, and sensational dramas, with which my friend was so closely mixed up, if, propos of a recent nomination of the illustrious Stangerson to the grade of grandcross of the Legion of Honour, an evening journal--in an article, miserable for its ignorance, or audacious for its perfidy--had not resuscitated a terrible adventure of which Joseph Rouletabille had told me he wished to be for ever forgotten.
Now, when I am not only recalling them, but have actually decided to write an account of them, I want to try the experiment whether one can, even with oneself, be perfectly open and not take fright at the whole truth. I will observe, in parenthesis, that Heine says that a true autobiography is almost an impossibility, and that man is bound to lie about himself.
But it had not been in Tess's power--nor is it in anybody's power--to feel the whole truth of golden opinions while it is possible to profit by them.
"Your flight, Lady Dedlock, would spread the whole truth, and a hundred times the whole truth, far and wide.