re·​al·​is·​tic ˌrē-ə-ˈli-stik How to pronounce realistic (audio)
: of, relating to, or marked by literary or artistic realism : accurately representing what is natural or real
a realistic novel
realistic portraiture
realistic sound effects
Such films tend to be more expressionistic than realistic.Ira Konigsberg
: convincingly rendered to appear natural
Realistic, sensitive artificial skin would be an important step towards making the prosthetic feel like an extension of the body.Julian Smith
: able to see things as they really are and to deal with them in a practical way
a sensible, realistic person/attitude
trying to be realistic about their chances for success
: based on what is real rather than on what is wanted or hoped for : not impractical or visionary
a realistic plan
realistic expectations
setting realistic goals
It's not realistic to expect people to spend that much money on wedding gifts.
For the first time, people with cancers that have long outwitted science have a realistic chance of getting a miracle, too.Sharon Begley
realistically adverb
depicting a scene realistically
approaching a problem realistically

Examples of realistic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The way their lives play out together seems perfectly realistic, given the circumstances. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 9 Apr. 2024 The pressure put on us to bounce back when everything is new and different isn't realistic. Hannah Sacks, Peoplemag, 8 Apr. 2024 Thrall also said that most attempts to find alternative plans are not realistic because of Israel’s position. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, 6 Apr. 2024 In other seasons, or an alternate universe where the ‘N’ in NHL stands for New York, Artemi Panarin would have a realistic chance of winning as well. Corey Masisak, The Denver Post, 6 Apr. 2024 Depictions of eclipses became more and more realistic during the Renaissance, a period known for its convergence of art and science. Elissaveta M. Brandon, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Apr. 2024 But the judge said that did not provide a realistic reason for his recusal. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 2 Apr. 2024 Spatial Personas are just realistic enough to haunt your dreams. Maxwell Zeff / Gizmodo, Quartz, 2 Apr. 2024 So a more realistic 3x final multiplier would mean a $525 million finish. Mark Hughes, Forbes, 30 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'realistic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1829, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of realistic was in 1829

Dictionary Entries Near realistic

Cite this Entry

“Realistic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: true to life or nature
a realistic painting
: ready to see things as they really are and deal with them sensibly
a realistic approach

More from Merriam-Webster on realistic

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