fact

noun

1
a
: 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
Phrases
in fact
: in truth
He looks younger, but in fact, he is 60 years old.

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The fact that typical use cases have changed noticeably in recent years suggests that mathematical optimization is being used in new, increasingly innovative ways. Edward Rothberg, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 In fact, of the eight players who have been listed as forwards on the Galaxy roster over the last 2½ years, Joveljic, 24, is the only one remaining. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 13 Feb. 2024 In fact, inflation without housing was only up 1.6%. Melvin Backman, Quartz, 13 Feb. 2024 In fact, Debbie sees the lack of communication as a positive. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 13 Feb. 2024 In fact, the Flying Spur Speed is only .7 seconds off the McLaren Artura’s same acceleration metric, but has a top speed that’s 5 mph faster than the 3,303-pound (curb weight) hybrid coupe. Viju Mathew, Robb Report, 13 Feb. 2024 In fact, the guideline doesn’t require payments to NATO or the US at all. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, 13 Feb. 2024 The fact that Vail was a businessman without any formal singing experience didn’t strike Wilson as any sort of obstacle. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 13 Feb. 2024 Vendors and their advocates told me that the fact that only 71 permits had been completed so far suggests that maybe there isn’t enough education about this process or other barriers for those on waiting lists. Emmett Lindner, New York Times, 13 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fact.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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.

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

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

Dictionary Entries Near fact

Cite this Entry

“Fact.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fact. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

fact

noun
1
a
: a thing done
b
: crime sense 1
accessory after the fact
2
: the quality of being actual
3
: something that actually exists or occurs
space travel is now a fact
prove the fact of damage
4
: a piece of information about something presented as true and accurate
a book filled with facts

Legal Definition

fact

noun
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
Etymology

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

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