re·al·i·ty | \rē-ˈa-lə-tē \
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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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

And even then the long-overdue reckoning with reality sent the government reeling. The Economist, "A new Brexit plan creates fresh depths of chaos," 12 July 2018 The true artistic endeavor is breaking through to beautiful new worlds and to deeper realities — of achieving a fusion of heart and mind, of understanding the soul and its workings. Joshua Zucker,, "John Zorn and Bill Laswell make rare duo appearance at the Chapel," 11 July 2018 Nicklen's Sea Legacy co-founder, Cristina Mittermeier, understands that the government’s decisions may be based on economic realities. Ahalya Srikant, WIRED, "Photo of the Week: Taking to the Sky to End Open-Water Salmon Farms," 9 July 2018 The two have a lot in common: While Christina is the costar of HGTV's Flip or Flop, her British beau has reality TV experience, too, on Channel 4's For the Love of Cars, BBC Two's Building Cars Live, and Velocity's Wheeler Dealers. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Christina El Moussa's Boyfriend Ant Anstead Just Shut Down a Hater Who Said He Looks Better With His Ex," 29 June 2018 But details didn't begin leaking until Baron Cohen's mysterious Trump teaser, which was likely filmed following the former reality star's appearance on Da Ali G Show in 2003. Jean Bentley, The Hollywood Reporter, "Sacha Baron Cohen's 'Who Is America?': All the Details (So Far) About the Showtime Comedy," 13 July 2018 After two wins over the first-place Indians, including Tuesday's wild comeback, the Reds took a step back into last-place reality. Bobby Nightengale,, "Tyler Mahle roughed up, Cincinnati Reds crushed in 19-4 loss to Cleveland Indians," 11 July 2018 Fears of soaring inflation after the financial crisis have repeatedly failed to turn into reality. Richard Barley, WSJ, "Investors Have Become Too Complacent About Inflation," 11 July 2018 There’s no bureaucracy just Brilliant ideas turned into reality in a matter of days. Christopher Carbone, Fox News, "Thai cave rescue: Elon Musk's kid-sized submarine prompts jeers, praise," 10 July 2018

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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Phrases Related to reality

divorced from reality

Statistics for reality

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reality

The first known use of reality was in 1550

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More Definitions for reality



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 \
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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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