\ ˈfakt \

Definition of fact 

1a : something that has actual existence space exploration is now a fact

b : an actual occurrence prove the fact of damage

2 : a piece of information presented as having objective reality These are the hard facts of the case.

3 : the quality of being actual : actuality a question of fact hinges on evidence

4 : a thing done: such as

a : crime accessory after the fact

b archaic : action

c obsolete : feat

5 archaic : performance, doing

in fact

: in truth He looks younger, but in fact, he is 60 years old.

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Synonyms & Antonyms for fact


actuality, case, materiality, reality


fantasy (also phantasy), fiction, illusion

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Examples of fact in a Sentence

Rapid electronic communication is now a fact. The book is filled with interesting facts and figures. He did it, and that's a fact.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Rankin's sister, Georgia Anderson, told the court the fact that Hevel didn't even remember the incident made the death harder to accept. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Former Navajo Nation police officer sentenced to 16 years in prison for fatal DUI crash," 14 July 2018 The fact that the company stuck taxpayers with the lion's share of the cleanup bill rankles some observers, especially in light of the family's reputation as budget hawks critical of government spending. Brian Slodysko, Houston Chronicle, "Pence family gas stations left costly environmental legacy," 13 July 2018 The social media drama stems from the fact that it's recommended that people avoid raw sushi while pregnant. Korin Miller, SELF, "Hilary Duff May Have Eaten Sushi While Pregnant and Everyone Needs to Chill Out About It," 13 July 2018 There's literally no catch except for the fact that with a total of 450 products to sift through, narrowing the options down can be daunting. Glamour Beauty Editors, Glamour, "The Best Beauty Deals From Nordstrom's 2018 Anniversary Sale," 12 July 2018 But fans' anger had nothing to do with her performance, and everything to do with the fact that all four judges this season selected singing acts for their Golden Buzzer picks. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'America's Got Talent' Contestant Makayla Phillips Earns Golden Buzzer and Fans Are Furious," 11 July 2018 Despite Trump suggesting that there are more tariffs to come, the fact that they’ve not been put in place gives markets a little bit of relief. Annabelle Liang, The Seattle Times, "Asian markets mirror optimism on Wall Street," 10 July 2018 The fact that humor is a language of protest appears to mitigate their anxiety and permits them to function. Brendan Leonard, Outside Online, "Learning to Be Funny," 9 July 2018 King Charles had no children with his wife the Queen, but that baptismal font had been used for the christenings of his children with various mistresses, a fact which Queen Victoria apparently found less than savory. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "Prince Louis's Christening Dress Has a Fascinating History," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fact.' 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 fact

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for fact

borrowed from Latin factum "deed, action, real event," noun derivative from neuter of factus, past participle of facere "to make, bring about, perform, do," going back to a suffixed form *dhh1-k-i̯e- (with perfect fēcī from *dheh1-k-) of Indo-European *dhh1-, dheh1- "put, place, make, do" — more at do entry 1

Note: The extension *-k- has been compared with the Greek extended aorist éthēka "I placed" (corresponding to present títhēmi "I set, put, placed"), apparently parallel to Latin jaciō, jacere "to throw" and Greek hêka "I threw" (see jet entry 3); though the identity of the two formatives has been disputed.

Latin factum deed, real happening, something done, from neuter of factus, past participle of facere to do, make

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Statistics for fact

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fact

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

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More Definitions for fact



English Language Learners Definition of fact

: something that truly exists or happens : something that has actual existence

: a true piece of information


\ ˈfakt \

Kids Definition of fact

1 : something that really exists or has occurred Space travel is now a fact.

2 : a true piece of information “I just know for a fact that she has a huge family to feed!” —Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

in fact

: in truth : actually She got there early and in fact she was earliest.



Legal Definition of fact 

1 : something that has actual existence : a matter of objective reality

2 : any of the circumstances of a case that exist or are alleged to exist in reality : a thing whose actual occurrence or existence is to be determined by the evidence presented at trial — see also finding of fact at finding, judicial notice, question of fact at question, trier of fact — compare law, opinion

adjudicative fact

: a fact particularly related to the parties to an especially administrative proceeding — compare legislative fact in this entry

collateral fact

: a fact that has no direct relation to or immediate bearing on the case or matter in question — compare material fact in this entry

constitutional fact

: a fact that relates to the determination of a constitutional issue (as violation of a constitutional right) used especially of administrative findings of fact

evidentiary fact

: a fact that is part of the situation from which a case arises and that is established by testimony or other evidence

called also mediate fact, predicate fact

— compare ultimate fact in this entry

legislative fact

: a fact of general social, economic, or scientific relevance that does not change from case to case — compare adjudicative fact in this entry

material fact

: a fact that affects decision making: as

a : a fact upon which the outcome of all or part of a lawsuit depends

b : a fact that would influence a reasonable person under the circumstances in making an investment decision (as in purchasing a security or voting for a corporate officer or action)

mediate fact

: evidentiary fact in this entry

predicate fact

: evidentiary fact in this entry

ultimate fact \ˈəl-ti-mət- \

: a conclusion of law or especially mixed fact and law that is necessary to the determination of issues in a case and that is established by evidentiary facts — compare evidentiary fact in this entry

in fact

: as a factual matter : established by fact rather than as a matter of law

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Comments on fact

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


a magnificent or impressive array

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