The total, unadulterated truth; frank honesty not diluted or softened in any way by omission or embellishment. Your job is to give me the unvarnished truth about the company's performance each quarter, no matter how bleak it may be. Sarah isn't afraid to speak the unvarnished truth about what she thinks of anyone or anything.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
The plain facts without embellishment, as in Let's just have the unvarnished truth about the sale. This idiom was first recorded in 1883, although unvarnished had been used to describe a direct statement since Shakespeare's time.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
unvarnished truth, the
The straight facts. This expression has antecedents in the writings of Aeschylus (“Simple are the words of truth”), Euripides (“Plain and unvarnished are the words of truth”), and other ancient writers. Shakespeare came close to the modern wording: “In speaking for myself . . . I will a round unvarnish’d tale deliver of my whole course of love” (Othello, 1.3). See also tell it like it is.
See also: unvarnished
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer