\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

In fact, two of the primary plaintiffs chosen by the ACLU for their class-action suit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement are also of Congolese heritage: a mother and daughter who came to the U.S. seeking asylum last year. Shamira Ibrahim, Daily Intelligencer, "Patricia Okoumou and the Threat to Black Immigrants," 13 July 2018 Earlier that day, in fact, Trump's arrival in the U.K. had been met with large demonstrations, including a giant blimp shaped like the president as an angry baby that came complete with a diaper. Emily Wang, Teen Vogue, "President Donald Trump Was Reportedly Late to Meet With Queen Elizabeth II," 13 July 2018 So big, in fact, that a study published in the Journal of Quantitative Marketing and Economics found that changing a price to end in a 9 can increase demand by as much as 35 percent. Adam Snitzer, miamiherald, "Why 9 is my favorite number," 12 July 2018 Artists didn’t work from a script, but rather were expected to draw out an issue (sometimes after a discussion with writer/editor Lee) to which dialogue was added after the fact. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Steve Ditko, the co-creator of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, is dead.," 7 July 2018 In fact, some of the most pivotal scenes in the film adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks classic feature gorgeous buildings — particularly the house Noah (Ryan Gosling) renovates for Allie (Rachel McAdams). Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "The Mansion Noah Built For Allie In The Notebook Would Rent For An Insane Price," 6 July 2018 Moreover, the Democrats were able to effectively rebut many Republican talking points, notably by calling attention to the fact that Strzok’s dim view of the GOP was shared by many Republicans in the past. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "The Washington Post worries Strzok hearings were bad for democracy.," 13 July 2018 This imbalance is partly due to deliberate attempts to create districts that provide such results, and partly just down to the fact that Democrats tend to live more tightly bunched together in cities. The Economist, "America’s electoral system gives the Republicans advantages over Democrats," 12 July 2018 These complications pale in comparison to the fact that deceit is woven into the fabric of the game. Alejandro Chacoff, The Atlantic, "Soccer Has No Interest in Fairness," 12 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

8 Oct 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).


to reject or criticize sharply

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