re·​al·​i·​ty | \ rē-ˈa-lə-tē How to pronounce reality (audio) \
plural realities

Definition of reality

1 : the quality or state of being real
2a(1) : a real event, entity, or state of affairs his dream became a reality
(2) : the totality of real things and events trying to escape from reality
b : something that is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily
3 : television programming that features videos of actual occurrences (such as a police chase, stunt, or natural disaster) often used attributively reality TV
in reality
: in actual fact

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Synonyms & Antonyms for reality


actuality, case, fact, materiality


fantasy (also phantasy), fiction, illusion

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Examples of reality in a Sentence

the difference between fiction and reality The reality is that we can't afford to buy a house. He used television as an escape from reality. They made the plan a reality.
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Recent Examples on the Web

With any reality show, producers are there to encourage conversations and ask pointed questions. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "What Amy Roloff Says About Rumors That 'Little People, Big World' Is Fake," 8 May 2019 There has been no shortage of controversy on this season of The Voice, but Tuesday's episode of the reality show was the most dramatic one yet. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Why Did the Top 24 Eliminations on 'The Voice' Cause So Much Controversy?," 1 May 2019 The reality show, called BLACKPINK House, aired in early 2018. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Who is BLACKPINK? Everything You Need To Know About The K-Pop Girl Group Topping Charts," 19 Apr. 2019 The reality is, there are several important differences between the two types of window treatments, all of which can completely change the function and feel of a room. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Drapes or Curtains? Why Choosing the Right Window Treatment Matters," 27 Mar. 2019 Just recently, the model and reality star found a way to make tie-dye ultra-chic, and she’s been known to turn our fave middle school trends into 2019-worthy glam. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Is Thinking About Chopping Off Her Hair," 4 May 2019 Weeks later, reality interjected in a terrifying, heartbreaking manner with the mosque shootings in Christchurch. Kristina O’neill, WSJ, "WSJ. Magazine Editor’s Letter: The Long View," 2 May 2019 Fellow country singer and reality show star Luke Bryan has the answer. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Luke Bryan Was the Ultimate Third Wheel on Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani's Date Night," 28 Apr. 2019 The trial, culminating in the verdict’s broadcast from within the courtroom, created some of the most intense early demand for the current 24-hour news cycle and sowed the seeds for the reality television boom to follow. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The Time of True Crime," 26 Apr. 2019

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

1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for reality

Last Updated

21 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reality

The first known use of reality was in 1550

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English Language Learners Definition of reality

: the true situation that exists : the real situation
: something that actually exists or happens : a real event, occurrence, situation, etc.


re·​al·​i·​ty | \ rē-ˈa-lə-tē How to pronounce reality (audio) \
plural realities

Kids Definition of reality

1 : the way things actually are Our trip is over. Now it's back to reality.
2 : someone or something that is real or actually exists He made his dream a reality.

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Comments on reality

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


one that collects or salvages junk

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