ac·​tu·​al·​ly | \ ˈak-ch(ə-w)ə-lē How to pronounce actually (audio) , -sh(ə-w)ə-lē; ˈaksh-lē, ˈaks- \

Definition of actually

1 : in act or in fact : really trying to find out what actually happened won't actually arrive for an hour
2 : in point of fact used to suggest something unexpected was surprised to learn that she could actually speak German

Examples of actually in a Sentence

actually, I'd rather spend the evening at home I call her Aunt Emily, but she is actually my cousin, not my aunt.
Recent Examples on the Web But revenge was put on pause this week while a bunch of teams battled it out to see who was actually the weakest of them all. Sydney Bucksbaum,, 11 Aug. 2022 Despite its remoteness, Cornello dei Tasso was actually the birth place of the founders of the first European postal service back in the 13th century. Silvia Marchetti, CNN, 11 Aug. 2022 Then a second letter from Edison arrived a few months later: The new rate was actually $1,723 per year — a 67% increase. Elvia Limón, Los Angeles Times, 10 Aug. 2022 And this is actually what makes China so dangerous. CBS News, 10 Aug. 2022 While white rum is usually for cocktails, Ron Botran Reserva Blanca is actually good enough to drink straight, and surprisingly well aged, a blend of rums 3-8 years old. Larry Olmsted, Forbes, 10 Aug. 2022 The biggest difference is actually in the approach to the business in the U.K. [where Industry films]. Seija Rankin, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Aug. 2022 Inside, the fluid that is circulating is actually a one-to-one mixture of the animal’s endogenous blood and our perfusate. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, 10 Aug. 2022 As fall nears, the last few weeks have presented a set of contradictory numbers that raise questions about what the state of the economy actually is. Dante Chinni, NBC News, 10 Aug. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of actually

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for actually

Middle English actuelly, from actuel, actual actual + -ly -ly entry 2

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The first known use of actually was in the 15th century

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actual neurotic

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Last Updated

14 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Actually.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for actually


ac·​tu·​al·​ly | \ ˈak-chə-wə-lē How to pronounce actually (audio) \

Kids Definition of actually

: in fact : really It's not a lie. It actually happened.

More from Merriam-Webster on actually

Nglish: Translation of actually for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of actually for Arabic Speakers


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