grain of truth

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grain of truth

A little bit of truth. Often used to refer to a small amount of insight or truth in something otherwise false or nonsensical. The only reason why Dave's joke about my love life bothered me so much is because there was a grain of truth to it.
See also: grain, of, truth
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

(a) grain of truth

even the smallest amount of truth. The attorney was unable to find a grain of truth in the defendant's testimony. If there were a grain of truth to your statement, I would trust you.
See also: grain, of, truth
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
People talk of natural sympathies; I have heard of good genii: there are grains of truth in the wildest fable.
Prosecutor Patrick Moran told a confiscation hearing at Southwark Crown Court, London, that Di Stefano, 58, used "grains of truth to build mountainous lies".
Lydia Crichton (author); GRAINS OF TRUTH; Barringer Publishing (Fiction: Romance) 14.95 ISBN: 9780988203495
Could I ask Mary Harte which of the items on my original letter she considers are based on "distorted grains of truth."
There are stereotypes and there are grains of truth; and then there are truisms.
Still, as Searls and a couple other bloggers acknowledged, the Forbes piece contained some important grains of truth. News gathering without gatekeepers surely has a dark side.
Ms Mackay said most were old wives tales, some contained a few grains of truth but a few, if taken seriously, could even be dangerous.
Yes, there are some grains of truth in Parenti's article.
My reading of the report confirms my initial thoughts on reading Retail Week: while the results may contain grains of truth, the survey work was sloppy, the results inconclusive and the writing style downright misleading.
A recent decision by the Appellate Division, First Department, demonstrates that another old maxim also holds its own grains of truth; that is, "Good things come to those who wait."