ac·tu·al·ly | \ ˈak-ch(ə-w)ə-lē , -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

As such, drug companies have carte blanche to raise prices on their key products year after year, even though the medicines aren’t actually achieving anything new. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "3 Key Lessons From Trump's Drug Price Feud With Pfizer," 11 July 2018 Many of the accounts used by Russian operatives, the company researchers found, were not actually created by the IRA. Craig Timberg And Elizabeth Dwoskin,, "Twitter is sweeping out fake accounts like never before, putting user growth at risk," 7 July 2018 Hampton, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, actually called an audible before taking the ball from center. Rick Armstrong, Aurora Beacon-News, "Air apparent: Aurora Christian coaches grooming sophomore Ethan Hampton to power passing attack," 14 July 2018 In 2014, the United Nations designated Dundee as a UNESCO City of Design (the first in the U.K., actually) for its valuable contributions to the fields of video games, textiles, and comic book design. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "A Guide to Dundee, Scotland—the First City Outside London to Get Its Very Own V&A Museum," 14 July 2018 The problem is that everything the Knicks have always believed about themselves as a franchise—immunity to rebuilding, dominant market that lures superstars, iconic history—is what’s actually true of the Lakers. Andrew Sharp,, "Kevin Knox, Wendell Carter Jr., and Midsummer Hope for the Knicks and Bulls," 13 July 2018 The 37-year-old actually wrote the papers and took the tests. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "Former Rockets star Yao Ming fulfills promise, gets college degree," 13 July 2018 But only about 1 percent of mothers actually do that, according to the 2010 Infant Feeding Survey. Taylor Seely, ajc, "Want your baby to sleep better? Feed them solid food sooner, a study suggests," 12 July 2018 Fewer than one out of four – one out of four - who could vote actually did. The Aegis, "Hard look needed at election problems in Maryland [Editorial]," 12 July 2018

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

19 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for actually

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

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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 \

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


a magnificent or impressive array

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