re·​al·​i·​ty rē-ˈa-lə-tē How to pronounce reality (audio)
plural realities
: the quality or state of being real
: a real event, entity, or state of affairs
his dream became a reality
: the totality of real things and events
trying to escape from reality
: something that is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily
: television programming that features people (especially people who are not professional actors) dealing with real-life situations or participating in contrived activities (such as competitions)
I for one am rooting for anything that stems the rising tide of reality on television.Ted Cox
… it's a tough choice between The Voice and Dancing With the Stars. … If reality means nothing to you, then you're faced with a medical drama, a superhero drama and comedies.Chris Harnick
usually used before another noun
reality stars
a reality series
reality shows
fans of reality TV/television
… critical judge Simon Cowell praised him as "the best magician ever" on the Britain's Got Talent reality competition.Markos Papadatos
The Arkansas native competing on the popular reality dating show The Bachelor has advanced to become one of only three remaining
… beat out 20,000 applicants to become one of 18 final contestants on Hell's Kitchen, the reality cooking show that banks on aspiring chefs' ambition (and vulnerabilities) and chef Gordon Ramsay's volatility.Sarah Reiss
in reality
: in actual fact

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Then again, there should be plenty of musicians, directors, authors and reality stars eager to fill the void. Stephen Battaglio, Los Angeles Times, 27 Sep. 2023 The affair ended their nine-year relationship and sent shockwaves through the world of reality TV, ultimately becoming dubbed #Scandoval. Alex Ross, Peoplemag, 27 Sep. 2023 Based as much perhaps on reputation as reality, Monday seemed to speak of Seattle or London. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 26 Sep. 2023 Now, new economic realities – as countries still reeling from the pandemic are hit by rising interest rates and commodity prices driven by the war in Ukraine – are at play. Simone McCarthy, CNN, 26 Sep. 2023 More than a year from the 2024, Republicans might take comfort in the reality that few voters are paying attention as of yet to the zany demolition derby on Capitol Hill and Trump’s legal plight might seem like old news, even as the indictments pile up. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 25 Sep. 2023 The upcoming season of the long-running reality competition show will feature 90-minute-long episodes — a change Probst had long pushed for behind the scenes. Leo Rocha, CBS News, 25 Sep. 2023 Aubrey O’Day, the singer and reality television personality, says her former mentor, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, asked her to sign an NDA to never disparage the rapper and his label, Bad Boy. Celeste McCauley, Peoplemag, 16 Sep. 2023 But, in reality, the results are short-lived and cause lasting damage to the furniture and your family—especially pets! Mary Cornetta, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'reality.' 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

circa 1513, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of reality was circa 1513

Dictionary Entries Near reality

Cite this Entry

“Reality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


re·​al·​i·​ty rē-ˈal-ət-ē How to pronounce reality (audio)
plural realities
: the quality or state of being real
: someone or something real or actual
our dream became a reality
: television programming that shows videos of actual occurrences (as police chases, stunts, or natural disasters)

More from Merriam-Webster on reality

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