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

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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 there are potential pitfalls on how much new spending that is not already part of other bills would actually be in the package. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 31 May 2021 There's actually a name for the relationship between water flow and depth—it's called Torricelli's law. Rhett Allain, Wired, 31 May 2021 This is actually probably the coolest thing about the sport in general. Matt Wake |, al, 31 May 2021 Glutz was having a hard time accepting Chad was actually dead. Jamie Clarkson, The Enquirer, 31 May 2021 Waiting in line to get into another new, small court, Court 6, actually was a joy to Matthieu Cassot, a financial comptroller from the Paris region. John Leicester, Star Tribune, 30 May 2021 Naomi’s case isn’t unheard of — Floridians hit by objects turned projectiles — but research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has found the most dangerous weapon of a hurricane is actually the water. Joe Mario Pedersen,, 30 May 2021 But the majority of the time when earnings were down, the stock market was actually up in that time. Ben Carlson, Fortune, 30 May 2021 Bettinger actually was with the team, having served as the 27th player allowed for the doubleheader Saturday. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 30 May 2021

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.

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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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Time Traveler for actually

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for actually

Last Updated

3 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Actually.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for actually



English Language Learners Definition of actually

used to refer to what is true or real
used to stress that a statement is true especially when it differs in some way from what might have been thought or expected


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.


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