ac·​tu·​al·​i·​ty | \ ˌak-chə-ˈwa-lə-tē How to pronounce actuality (audio) , ˌak-shə-\
plural actualities

Definition of actuality

1 : the quality or state of being actual
2 : something that is actual : fact, reality possible risks which have been seized upon as actualities— T. S. Eliot
in actuality
: in actual fact

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Examples of actuality in a Sentence

The actuality was quite different from the theory. the actuality of the Abominable Snowman is not taken seriously by scientists
Recent Examples on the Web In actuality, there are at least nine common spots on your face that can be injected with fillers. Sarah Wu, Glamour, "Your Ultimate Guide to Face Fillers," 16 Sep. 2019 The weight of actuality lifts; trouble is dispelled. James Parker, The Atlantic, "Why Yesterday Made Me Cry," 11 July 2019 Or rather, all of these events illuminate the structuring tensions of Sontag’s life: between intimacy and distance, insecurity and authority, enthusiasm and judgment, metaphor and actuality, repetition and transcendence. Leslie Jamison, The New Republic, "The Remaking of Susan Sontag," 12 Sep. 2019 In actuality, federal agents placed fake ricin in the package, along with a GPS tracker. Andy Nguyen, Glendale News-Press, "La Crescenta man admits to intending to poison wife with ricin, feds say," 9 Sep. 2019 King George V and Queen Mary did, in actuality, visit Highclere Castle, the real-life estate which serves as Downton Abbey on-screen. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The Royal Family's Many Connections to Downton Abbey," 8 Sep. 2019 Marco Silva is the astute mind that can turn potentiality into actuality, especially with the talent littering his squad., "Premier League 2019/20: Assessing Who Can Break the 'Big Six' Next Season," 6 June 2019 Anyone who gets swept under is drowning, not in fantasy, but in actuality. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "In the galleries: Artechouse’s ‘Infinite Space’ has waves of natural influences," 9 Aug. 2019 In actuality, nearly half of video gamers are women, according to a report from the ESA. Patrick Lucas Austin, Time, "'I Have Never Felt the Need to Enact Any Kind of Violence.' Pro Gamers Say Guns, Not Games, Are to Blame for Shootings," 9 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'actuality.' 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 actuality

1587, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for actuality

Middle English actualite "capacity for action, effective power," borrowed from Medieval Latin āctuālitāt-, āctuālitās, from Late Latin āctuālis actual + Latin -itāt-, -itās -ity

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Statistics for actuality

Last Updated

1 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for actuality

The first known use of actuality was in 1587

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More Definitions for actuality


How to pronounce actuality (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of actuality

: the quality or state of being actual or real
: something that is actual or real

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Comments on actuality

What made you want to look up actuality? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an agreement to stop fighting a war

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