actual

play
adjective ac·tu·al \ˈak-ch(ə-w)əl, -sh(ə-w)əl; -chü-əl, -shü-\

Definition of actual

  1. 1a :  existing in fact or reality actual events actual and imagined conditionsb :  not false or apparent actual costsc —used for emphasis This is the actual room in which my grandfather was born.

  2. 2 :  existing or occurring at the time caught in the actual commission of a crime

  3. 3 obsolete :  active

Examples of actual in a Sentence

  1. They signed the agreement in the spring, but the actual sale wasn't made until that summer.

  2. You deposit money in a bank account but the actual money is not held there.

  3. The actual cost of the repair was much higher than the estimate.

Recent Examples of actual from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'actual'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of actual

Middle English actuel, from Late Latin actualis, from Latin actus act


First Known Use: 14th century



ACTUAL Defined for English Language Learners

actual

play
adjective

Definition of actual for English Language Learners

  • : real and not merely possible or imagined : existing in fact

  • : known to be correct or precise : not false or apparent

  • —used for emphasis


ACTUAL Defined for Kids

actual

play
adjective ac·tu·al \ˈak-chə-wəl\

Definition of actual for Students

  1. :  really existing or happening :  not false The movie is based on actual events.


Law Dictionary

actual

adjective ac·tu·al

Legal Definition of actual

  1. :  existing in fact or reality — compare constructive

actually

adverb


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up actual? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to glide in or as if in an airplane

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!