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

Essential Meaning of reality

1 : the true situation that exists : the real situation He refused to face/accept reality. [=the truth] the difference between fiction/fantasy and reality See More ExamplesShe's out of touch with reality. [=she does not know what is really true] The reality is that we can't afford to buy a house. He used television as an escape from reality.Hide
2 : something that actually exists or happens : a real event, occurrence, situation, etc. The movie shows the harsh/grim/stark realities of war. [=the things that really happen in a war] Her dream of competing in the Olympics became a reality. [=she competed in the Olympics, as she had dreamed of doing] They made the plan a reality.

Full 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

Synonyms & Antonyms for reality



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web He’s not an influencer, a multi-millionaire aspiring rapper, or a reality TV star. Ivy Knight, Rolling Stone, 11 Jan. 2022 Then on Twitter Thursday, the reality television star continued to defend herself after one user posted a photo of a ring resembling Shay's and selling at only over $13,000. Natasha Dado,, 6 Jan. 2022 However, given the DNA results, Thompson took the unusual step of announcing the news on Instagram — and posted a groveling apology to Kardashian, the reality star and mother of his 3-year-old daughter, True. Washington Post, 5 Jan. 2022 The reality star will be heading to Ohio soon, however. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, 4 Jan. 2022 Channel 10 has all but confirmed Davina's involvement in the show, teasing the reality star's arrival with a cryptic promo that pretty much gives it all away. Alicia Vrajlal,, 4 Jan. 2022 The Token Girl typically wouldn’t be a comic, instead perhaps a presenter or a reality star or a Mel B. Bethy Squires, Vulture, 1 Jan. 2022 Though some fans would love to see the two together, there is one problem: Even though Miley is believed to be single at the moment, Pete appears to be dating reality television star Kim Kardashian West. Katherine Tinsley, Good Housekeeping, 1 Jan. 2022 The second was Mohamed Hadid, the reality TV star who tried cramming a 30,000-square-foot mansion onto 1.22 acres in Bel-Air. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, 1 Jan. 2022

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.

See More

First Known Use of reality

1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About reality

Time Traveler for reality

Time Traveler

The first known use of reality was in 1550

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near reality



reality check

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for reality

Last Updated

13 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for reality


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on reality

Nglish: Translation of reality for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reality for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about reality


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!