ac·​tu·​al·​i·​ty | \ ˌak-chə-ˈwa-lə-tē How to pronounce actuality (audio) , ˌak-shə- \
plural actualities

Definition of actuality

1 : the quality or state of being actual
2 : something that is actual : fact, reality possible risks which have been seized upon as actualities— T. S. Eliot
in actuality
: in actual fact

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Examples of actuality in a Sentence

The actuality was quite different from the theory. the actuality of the Abominable Snowman is not taken seriously by scientists
Recent Examples on the Web In actuality, Hannibal had led them into a trap that neutralized their superior numbers. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Ancient Battlefield That Launched the Legend of Hannibal," 24 Apr. 2020 In actuality, the choice is not entirely his to make. Remy Tumin, New York Times, "Coronavirus, Joe Biden, Easter: Your Weekend Briefing," 12 Apr. 2020 In actuality, the vaccine would take about a year and a half at best to develop, Fauci said. Fox News, "Top US coronavirus expert Dr. Fauci responds to added security detail after threats: 'I've chosen this life'," 3 Apr. 2020 In actuality, the awe-inspiring abode is only a few years old, but has been in planning and construction phases since 2009. Dallas News, "Old Preston Hollow estate takes luxury to a ‘new level’," 22 Mar. 2020 In actuality, those who cared for tuberculosis patients were themselves succumbing to the disease. Vince Guerrieri, Popular Mechanics, "‘Unclean! Unclean!’: The Questionable History of Quarantines," 6 Mar. 2020 It, in actuality, unfolded in the middle of a Lenten season about two years ago. Jessica Lynne, Longreads, "Miami: A Beginning," 27 Feb. 2020 For both men, the freedom of morality was, in actuality, a freedom from morality, a license to inflict pain on others. Mitchell Abidor, The New York Review of Books, "Reading Sade in the Age of Epstein," 12 Feb. 2020 Listed at 6-5 and 242 pounds with impressive athletic ability, Bryant has the appearance of a mobile tight end but, in actuality, shows a willingness to throw his weight around as a blocker. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: Dallas Cowboys restock defense early in full 2020 NFL mock draft," 3 Feb. 2020

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

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First Known Use of actuality

1587, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for actuality

Middle English actualite "capacity for action, effective power," borrowed from Medieval Latin āctuālitāt-, āctuālitās, from Late Latin āctuālis actual + Latin -itāt-, -itās -ity

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Time Traveler for actuality

Time Traveler

The first known use of actuality was in 1587

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Statistics for actuality

Last Updated

29 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Actuality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for actuality


How to pronounce actuality (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of actuality

: the quality or state of being actual or real
: something that is actual or real

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