\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, factuality, materiality, reality


irreality, unreality

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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

Yes, there are, in fact, TWO commas in that price tag. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "A Tiffany Lamp Just Sold For $3.37 Million At Auction," 13 Dec. 2018 In fact, mincemeat was one of the last recipes Mr. Beard taught to his cooking students. Kathleen Squires, WSJ, "What Your Holiday Table Has Been Missing," 12 Dec. 2018 In fact, Pai has demanded that carriers implement more aggressive robocall-blocking technologies in their Title II mobile voice services. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "FCC’s robotext crackdown could block legal messages, critics say [Updated]," 12 Dec. 2018 In fact, steam heat has been in continuous use for well over 150 years and is relatively common in homes built after about 1940, many of which still have their original steam-heat systems. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Silence a Noisy Steam Radiator," 11 Dec. 2018 In fact, the wooden beds the hut sits on top of were actually taken from reclaimed construction from Copenhagen’s South Harbor. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "96-square-foot pavilion is the ultimate rustic studio," 6 Dec. 2018 Sadly, Kelly’s comments were not enough to save DeAndre, as Reagan did, in fact, move forward to the Top 8. Megan Stein, Country Living, "The Voice's Kelly Clarkson Defends DeAndre Nico After Adam Levine 'Threw Him Under the Bus'," 5 Dec. 2018 If cost is, in fact, an object, Adelman notes that Artis is offering holiday gift sets at a range of price points, and the original Elite Oval 7 Brush is still available for $62, which seemed pretty expensive until a few minutes ago. Marci Robin, Allure, "We Talked to Artis About Those $25,000 Diamond-Encrusted Makeup Brushes It Just Launched," 12 Nov. 2018 Technically, the fact that China censors search results is a state secret. Casey Newton, The Verge, "A looming strike over Project Dragonfly is putting new pressure on Google," 30 Nov. 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.

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Statistics for fact

Last Updated

17 Dec 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

History and Etymology for fact

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on fact

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fact

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


a knickknack or trinket

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