un·​re·​al | \ ˌən-ˈrē(-ə)l How to pronounce unreal (audio) \

Definition of unreal

: lacking in reality, substance, or genuineness : artificial, illusory also : incredible, fantastic

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Examples of unreal in a Sentence

The town seemed as unreal as a movie set. The fashion model looked unreal, like a doll. I think it's unreal that he survived the accident.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Everything about Prince's death felt unreal, including the fact that the single greatest musician of our time vanished from this world without leaving a will. Chris Richards, chicagotribune.com, "The 5 hardest questions in pop music," 3 July 2018 Once in his village, long controlled by the Taliban, Mr. Edris said all of it felt unreal. Najim Rahim, New York Times, "As Afghan Cease-Fire Ends, Temporary Friends Hug, Then Return to War," 17 June 2018 Standing next to Ty Pennington during our photo shoot was unreal. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "What It's Really Like to Be a Designer on Trading Spaces," 11 Mar. 2019 For the weight, the warmth is unreal, but the bag offers so much more. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "Therm-a-Rest's Hyperion Sleeping Bag Provides Tons of Warmth With Little Weight," 10 Mar. 2019 The specter of disarmament is, however, fundamentally unreal. Adhering to a high standard of conduct helped Democrats win the Alabama Senate race, by underscoring the seriousness of the charges against Roy Moore. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The Kavanaugh assault allegations are a reminder that Democrats were smart to push Al Franken out," 18 Sep. 2018 The idea of a child is something so unreal, it can only be manifested by human hands. Tina Chang, The Cut, "What Does Being Pregnant Feel Like? Part VI," 7 June 2018 The buzz has been unreal, with a dinner wait on weekends that’s about two hours. Tan Vinh, The Seattle Times, "From hot ramen to hotter hot pot: 30 restaurant openings in Seattle and on the Eastside," 28 Nov. 2018 Even for registered travelers, the security lines can be unreal. WSJ, "Orlando International Airport: Insiders’ Tips for Flights to and From MCO," 14 Nov. 2018

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

1605, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unreal

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unreal

The first known use of unreal was in 1605

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More Definitions for unreal



English Language Learners Definition of unreal

: not real : artificial or fake
informal : very strange or unusual
informal used to describe something that is so good, bad, etc., that it is difficult to believe


un·​re·​al | \ ˌən-ˈrē-əl How to pronounce unreal (audio) \

Kids Definition of unreal

: not actual or genuine It seemed like a nightmare where everything you take to be … reality becomes unreal.— Laurence Yep, Dragonwings

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More from Merriam-Webster on unreal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unreal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unreal

Spanish Central: Translation of unreal

Nglish: Translation of unreal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unreal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on unreal

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


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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