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

actuality, factuality, materiality, reality

Antonyms

irreality, unreality

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, every American packs away an average of 30 pounds of the delicious golden-fried potato sticks each year. Brenda Cain And Yadi Rodriguez - Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "It’s National French Fry day! Celebrate with the perfect fried spud," 13 July 2019 In fact, two of the program’s professional mentors got their start at the High School Journalism Institute. oregonlive.com, "‘One of the best weeks’: High School Journalism Institute underway at Oregon State," 13 July 2019 Birthparents were often told that their babies had died, when in fact they had been given to nationalist couples who could not have children of their own. Washington Post, "She became the face of Spain’s stolen-baby scandal. Her family says she wasn’t abducted.," 13 July 2019 Wiygul said that the hospital conducted tests which confirmed that her father had in fact contracted vibrio vulnificus which manifested into necrotizing fasciitis. Fox News, "Florida woman says dad died of flesh-eating bacteria less than 48 hours after entering water," 13 July 2019 That, in fact, is what makes the current roster so intriguing, that no matter what happens with the veteran core (or if other veterans are brought in), there is a subset on the roster being developed below the surface, that could yet emerge. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Has Heat’s developmental program come through again?," 13 July 2019 In fact, Rachel Holliday Smith writes for the City, the journalist will soon make a return visit to the island—this time, in statue form. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "A Nellie Bly Memorial Is Coming to Roosevelt Island," 13 July 2019 In fact, more than 70 of them operate throughout AL. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al.com, "Kay Ivey, German minister tour Mercedes plant," 12 July 2019 Way too popular, in fact, to contain into just one day. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Remember the crazy lines at Mayfair for Build-a-Bear's Pay your age day last year? This year's promotion was much calmer.," 12 July 2019

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

Statistics for fact

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fact

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fact

fact

noun

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

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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!