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

In reality, the employee ended up downloading malware that provided the hacker with access to the company’s network., "Premera Blue Cross agrees to pay $10.4 million to Oregon, 29 states after massive data breach," 11 July 2019 But theory could turn to reality as Wynn or other developers seek approvals for future projects in the neighborhood. Jon Chesto,, "Wynn offers investors a glimpse of Everett’s development potential," 11 July 2019 Quite how any of this will play out in reality is another matter. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, "The Death of British Steel and the Myth of the Good Brexit," 10 July 2019 Some bands also include a final fete with their registration where masqueraders can attend this last hurrah before heading back to reality at no additional cost to them. Anquanette Gaspard, Essence, "Live It Up: Get On Badder Than Bad at St. Lucia Carnival 2019," 9 July 2019 Two potential modular buildings are inching closer to reality for the baseball programs at Crescenta Valley High School and GCC, as was discussed during a Glendale Unified school board meeting on June 18. Andrew J. Campa,, "After some delays, portable locker rooms move closer to reality at Stengel Field," 9 July 2019 And that really opened my mind and my eyes to the reality of the Vietnam War. Bridget Read, Vogue, "60 Years After Her First Vogue Cover, Jane Fonda on Acting, Activism, and Having No Regrets," 9 July 2019 In reality, the Sussexes aren't so much breaking with royal convention as tweaking it. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Chose Not Announce Archie's Godparents Publicly," 6 July 2019 But bringing the scores back to reality would be better. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Here's what the Rocket Mortgage Classic got right — and what it got wrong," 30 June 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

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reality

The first known use of reality was in 1550

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More Definitions for reality



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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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