un·​re·​al·​i·​ty ˌən-rē-ˈa-lə-tē How to pronounce unreality (audio)
: the quality or state of being unreal : lack of substance or validity
: something unreal, insubstantial, or visionary : figment
: ineptitude in dealing with reality

Example Sentences

a sci-fi author who seems to have preferred the unrealities of his own fiction to the realities of the world about him
Recent Examples on the Web There is no force in American politics generating anywhere near so much unreality, in science or in other spheres, as this one. Phil Plait, Discover Magazine, 28 Sep. 2011 In the spaces between these near-angelic digital beings, in the spaces behind them, the unreality comes trickling in—through holes and portals and cartilaginous tubes of nothingness. James Parker, The Atlantic, 14 Oct. 2022 There's also the unreality of life in that stratosphere. Brandon Tensley, CNN, 30 June 2022 The spectacle of realism also lets Industry get away with the sort of unreality that so much TV relies on—contrivance, coincidence, and plot holes, all working in service of juicy twists. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 16 Aug. 2022 Both The Last White Man and Exit West (which is in the works as a film) have an element of unreality to them; the skin-color changes in White Man and the magic doorways that allow people to escape their country in Exit. Seija Rankin, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Aug. 2022 Since Moscow’s lockdown only happened very recently, Kovalev told me that there’s still a sense of unreality about the whole situation. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, 3 Apr. 2020 Trump’s warped unreality, where the election was rigged against him and January 6 was a flock of freedom-loving tourists besmirched by Antifa commandos. Robert Schlesinger, The New Republic, 5 Apr. 2022 In the golden age of fraud, grift sits comfortably alongside the general sense of unreality permeating the American economy. Ben Mckenzie, The New Republic, 10 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unreality.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1744, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of unreality was in 1744

Dictionary Entries Near unreality

Cite this Entry

“Unreality.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unreality. Accessed 21 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


un·​re·​al·​i·​ty ˌən-rē-ˈal-ət-ē How to pronounce unreality (audio)
: the quality or state of being unreal : nonexistence
an air of unreality about the place
: something unreal or imaginary : figment
: inability to deal with reality
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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