It's a relatively well-known fact that Harvard University's famous motto, Veritas, means "truth" or "truthfulness" in Latin, because the school values integrity so highly. This was adopted in 1643, replacing the more religious Christo et Ecclesiae motto, which meant "Christ and Church". The root in veritas is another Latin word, verus, which was basically just the adjectival form of the noun, meaning "true". That is reconstructed as deriving from Proto-Italic weros, which would be from Proto-Indo-European wereo, "trustworthy". So not much semantic change, but the descendants of verus are pretty interesting. Veracity, verify, versimilitude, and very are all cousins of veritas, and more than 1,500 words stem from PIE wereo. Usage of the word veritas in English peaked in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and has been decreasing since then.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.