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 attributivelyreality TV
in reality
: in actual fact

Keep scrolling for more

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 Randy Jackson has literally transformed American pop culture over the last two decades, having paved the way for game shows and reality competitions to grace our televisions today. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, "Randy Jackson's Weight-Loss and Health Journey in His Own Words," 7 Jan. 2021 Matt is no longer a reality TV rookie, but the teaser indicates there are plenty of firsts – dates, tears and fights – to come, plus some new contestants and a familiar face. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "'The Bachelor' recap: Matt James makes his TV debut in a night of franchise firsts, 8 sent home," 5 Jan. 2021 Reporters need to put reality first and take care not to fall into false equivalency and both-side traps. Brian Stelter, CNN, "Analysis: News coverage of Congress certifying the vote must put reality first," 5 Jan. 2021 This involves seeing reality as clearly as possible. Scott Barry Kaufman, Scientific American, "The Science of Spiritual Narcissism," 4 Jan. 2021 Virtual reality and fashion have gone hand-in-hand this past year. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Grand Theft Auto Features Its First Fashion Label," 4 Jan. 2021 Industry-wide, understaffing is the norm—a reality that has had devastating consequences during the pandemic. Jay Caspian Kang, The New Yorker, "What the San Francisco Bay Area Can Teach Us About Fighting a Pandemic," 4 Jan. 2021 It’s the brazen acknowledgment of this reality that makes the whole enterprise so unprincipled. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "An Awesome Spectacle of Dishonesty and Opportunism," 4 Jan. 2021 The bottom line is the rules of the House ought to reflect the reality here. Kerry Picket, Washington Examiner, "Democrats defend gender-neutral pronoun rule," 3 Jan. 2021

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Statistics for reality

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for reality


How to pronounce reality (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!