actually

adverb
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

What do the helmets so many of you carp-brained mopes opt to leave at home actually protect against? Rex Huppke, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Bicyclists should be shamed into wearing helmets.," 17 Sep. 2019 Now Here’s the secret: There actually is a vote bank. Time, "The High-Risk Strategy That Could Hand Democrats the White House," 17 Sep. 2019 The same goes for how long menopause actually lasts. Korin Miller, Health.com, "When Does Menopause Start—And How Long Does it Last?," 17 Sep. 2019 Though she was originally born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Drummond actually lived in Los Angeles while going to college at the University of Southern California and had plans to move to Chicago following graduation. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Why Ree Drummond Can't Imagine Any Place But Oklahoma Being Home," 17 Sep. 2019 No one should actually be a master of the universe. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "Money Is the Oxygen on Which the Fire of Global Warming Burns," 17 Sep. 2019 What the senators are actually saying, without even recognizing the outrageousness of their assertions, is that our vast for-profit health care industry is deciding who lives and who dies. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: Consider all the costs of separating babies from their incarcerated mothers," 15 Sep. 2019 In 1982, the Supreme Court ruled states may not issue the death penalty for someone convicted of felony murder who did not actually have a hand in the killing. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "Prison terms for killing of Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio draw attention to felony murder rule," 17 Sep. 2019 This aversion to governing, to actually using the power granted to them by the voters, only forces those voters to wonder whether these Democrats really want to win. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "Brett Kavanaugh Has Democrats Running Scared," 17 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for actually

Last Updated

17 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for actually

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

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More Definitions for actually

actually

adverb

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

actually

adverb
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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More from Merriam-Webster on actually

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for actually

Spanish Central: Translation of actually

Nglish: Translation of actually for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of actually for Arabic Speakers

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