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

Money received his diagnosis last fall while filming for the second season of his AXS TV reality series, according to a news release from the show. Maria Pasquini,, "Musician Eddie Money Reveals He’s Been Diagnosed with Stage 4 Esophageal Cancer," 24 Aug. 2019 The Koch network played a vital and unrivaled role in burning down the moderate wing of the Republican Party that acknowledged the reality of climate change. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "How David Koch Changed The World," 23 Aug. 2019 Going to a year-round calendar simply reflects the reality of their lives. Corbett Smith, Dallas News, "Can Texas meet its lofty goals for a well-trained workforce in 2030? Departing higher ed leader says state must do more," 23 Aug. 2019 Bachelorette contestant Tyler Cameron had the biggest glow-up a reality TV star has ever seen, moving from Hannah Brown to casually date Gigi Hadid (although neither of them has publicly confirmed their relationship). Kathryn Lindsay,, "Wait, Is Tyler Cameron Going To The VMAs With Gigi Hadid?," 22 Aug. 2019 Lindsay also serves as a co-host of Bachelor Happy Hour, a weekly podcast series about the hit reality series that sent her into stardom. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Travis Mills & Former 'Bachelorette' Rachel Lindsay to Host New MTV Docuseries 'Ghosted'," 21 Aug. 2019 The long-time member of the reality series has stepped away before, during its third season, before returning in 2015 for the seventh installment. Rachel Yang,, "Real Housewives of New York," 21 Aug. 2019 The reality star and beauty mogul matches with her daughters, North, 6, and Chicago, 1, in silver swimsuits. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian Matches Swimsuits with Her Kids on Vacation in the Bahamas," 21 Aug. 2019 This family is an example of people not wanting to face the reality of their present moment. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Ask Veronica — When is the right time to take the car keys?," 21 Aug. 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

27 Aug 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).


recurring in steady succession

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