re·​al·​ly | \ ˈrē-(ə-)lē How to pronounce really (audio) \

Definition of really

1a : in reality : actually things as they really are there was nothing peculiar about her doing this, really— Peter Taylor
b : truly, unquestionably used as an intensifiera really beautiful day
c : very sense 1 look really close he runs really fast
2 used to emphasize an assertionyou really should read Yeatsreally, you're being ridiculous

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of really in a Sentence

The dog runs really fast. The water is really hot. She's a really nice person. I had a really good time at the party.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Deep down, both these couples really do love each other, whereas Marie (Bérénice Bejo), the protagonist of After Love, has already given up on her spouse. J.r. Jones, Chicago Reader, "Marriage is too close for comfort in After Love and I Do . . . Until I Don’t," 30 Aug. 2017 Drawn in cursive lettering above the bar, the menu includes standards like espresso, drip coffee, and cappuccino—and the baristas really like to show off their latte art, too. Kristine Hansen, Vogue, "Is Phoenix the Coffee Capital of the Southwest?," 29 Aug. 2017 What really excited me was that a large portion of the people in our nation had bonded together to share in this experience. Jane Napier Neely, La Cañada Valley Sun, "The Valley Line: She’s ‘all-a-thrill’ following Pasadena Pops Gerswhin concert, partial eclipse experiences," 28 Aug. 2017 And has Buckleyite conservatism — which is undoubtedly in a crisis as evidenced by the shouting, curses, and stormings-out — really and finally cracked up? John O'sullivan, National Review, "Did William F. Buckley’s Conservative Project End in Failure?," 20 July 2017 The exhibit could have used some more concrete examples of Graham's temper, referred to throughout but not really detailed. Steve Johnson,, "'Bill Graham' rock and roll exhibit at the Holocaust Museum is a hit," 19 July 2017 Getting another power bat, also getting two short-inning guys who can make our bullpen really versatile. Pat Borzi, New York Times, "Yankees’ Reinforcements Arrive, but to No Avail," 19 July 2017 And, while the bosses at Scarlet magazine are good-hearted and faithfully mentor their assistants, is that really an accurate, across-the-board representation of reality? Clio Chang, New Republic, "The Sex and the City of the Trump Era?," 19 July 2017 Well, white people really don’t want to listen to black music.’ Danielle Jackson, Longreads, "Why the “Black Grateful Dead” Thrives Outside of Top 40 Radio," 19 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'really.' 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 really

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about really

Time Traveler for really

Time Traveler

The first known use of really was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for really

Cite this Entry

“Really.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for really


How to pronounce really (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of really

used to refer to what is true or real
: without question or doubt
: to a great degree


re·​al·​ly | \ ˈrē-ə-lē How to pronounce really (audio) , ˈrē-lē \

Kids Definition of really

1 : in fact She didn't really mean it.
2 : without question It's a really fine day.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on really

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for really

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with really

Spanish Central: Translation of really

Nglish: Translation of really for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of really for Arabic Speakers

Comments on really

What made you want to look up really? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


very cautious or careful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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