fact

noun
\ ˈfakt How to pronounce fact (audio) \

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for fact

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web In fact, however, December’s high SKEW reading most likely meant something else entirely, says Jessica Wachter, a finance professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Mark Hulbert, WSJ, "Why a Rising ‘Black Swan’ Index Could Be a Sign of Bullishness," 10 Feb. 2020 And in fact, over the five-month run of the epidemic, only two people in California — a man and a woman in Santa Clara County — would be diagnosed with the disease that infected more than 8,000 worldwide. Erin Allday, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus: Lessons from past epidemics guide US response to crisis," 9 Feb. 2020 In fact, their next transaction is already lined up less than two days after the trade deadline. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks to waive Dragan Bender, sign veteran forward Marvin Williams after buyout," 8 Feb. 2020 No one has any idea how the pup ended up in a shelter 1,700 miles away, but Mathis provided records and photos showing that the little escape artist, known as Day Day at the Florida shelter where she's being held, was in fact her Hazel. Aj Willingham, CNN, "What a great week for rescue pets!," 7 Feb. 2020 And health hazards from exposure to secondhand smoke have in fact been conclusively documented. K.n.c., The Economist, "Open Future We can harness peer pressure to uphold social values," 7 Feb. 2020 In fact, our analysis shows that 25% of all SSDI beneficiaries – over 2 million people – live in a county without a Social Security office. Catherine Ipsen, The Conversation, "How Trump’s proposed benefits changes will create hardship for rural people with disabilities," 7 Feb. 2020 In fact, some trim levels even see drops in price; the only price increase is for the R level trim, which gets a bump of only $1400. Mihir Maddireddy, Car and Driver, "Jaguar's Updated 2021 F-Type Is Attractively Priced," 6 Feb. 2020 Then, around midnight, several Chinese media outlets reported that Li was, in fact, still alive. Tripti Lahiri, Quartz, "Questions swirl after China attempts to censor news of whistleblowing doctor’s death," 6 Feb. 2020

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.

See More

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fact

Time Traveler for fact

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for fact

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fact.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fact. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fact

fact

noun
How to pronounce fact (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fact

: something that truly exists or happens : something that has actual existence
: a true piece of information

fact

noun
\ ˈfakt How to pronounce fact (audio) \

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.

fact

noun

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

History and Etymology for fact

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on fact

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fact

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fact

Spanish Central: Translation of fact

Nglish: Translation of fact for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fact for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fact

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!