Definition of actual in English:



  • 1Existing in fact; real.

    ‘the estimate was much less than the actual cost’
    • ‘The actual cost of creating and maintaining that environment is minimal.’
    • ‘This is despite the fact that the actual number of poor children has fallen.’
    • ‘These are not his actual words but they are a pretty close approximation from memory.’
    • ‘Under the actual facts of the case, the Court found that the judge had taken no actions of any significance.’
    • ‘It is a pointer to the fact that the actual bill may, itself, be wrong and the estimate right.’
    • ‘I think maybe to read this blog you have to know the person and know what is going on in the actual real life.’
    • ‘This is a work of fan fiction and holds no actual relevance to the real story.’
    • ‘My writing style was a lot more fluid and readable in the dream too, shame I don't remember any of the actual words.’
    • ‘You know, there're only about five actual words in the whole of the song.’
    • ‘It's like they're trying to find an excuse for having arrested him, ignoring the actual facts.’
    • ‘In the real world, actual movements are made up of all manner of tendencies and impulses.’
    • ‘It is difficult to see how the actual words in the Constitution support her approach.’
    • ‘Somewhere in this mass of opinions and actual fact lies the truth about what is actually safe.’
    • ‘The actual cost of dealing with cancer can run into thousands of pounds.’
    • ‘There are actual real live people out there that Blog and I'm going to meet one, How exciting!’
    • ‘Viable alternatives to oil will only emerge when real and actual necessity dictates it.’
    • ‘This came as no real surprise to the actual drivers who completely ignored the threat.’
    • ‘He read it literally as real, actual abuse meted out by an attacker on her victim.’
    • ‘In other words, the actual price of the material and its selling price is very different.’
    • ‘This is the inexhaustible domain of what is real without being actual, what is not but which may be.’
    real, true, genuine, authentic, verified, attested, confirmed, definite, hard, plain, clear, clear-cut, undeniable, veritable
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    1. 1.1 Used to emphasize the important aspect of something.
      ‘the book could be condensed into half the space, but what of the actual content?’
      • ‘As this has happened, the structure of the content, the actual text, has become more important.’
      • ‘Two of the most important factors are the topography of the seafloor and the actual shape of the shoreline.’
      • ‘In this context, it's the fight against these systems that are more important than actual victory.’
      • ‘Such benefits are often known as use values, since they require actual participation to enjoy them.’
      • ‘So, the actual content of the cigarette is less important than its function.’
      • ‘The website is as I though a triumph of pretentious style over actual content.’
      • ‘The site had become unkept and littered with refuse and waste, in particularly the actual pond itself.’
      • ‘Thus, the actual footage of Carroll saying anything of importance is a bit limited.’
      • ‘All the hype on this one seems to have run ahead of the album's actual content and import.’
      • ‘Japan is taking part in the peace process as host, but is not an actual participant.’
      • ‘Now we know all about the actual car, the important part of the day was in the driving.’
      • ‘The actual life experience of the therapist can be an extremely important factor.’
      • ‘The two countries were almost at war and that is much more important than marking the day of the actual event.’
      • ‘In other words, the area in which they bought was more important than the actual house.’
      • ‘Names are great but it is the actual proceedings that underpin what we do that is important.’
      • ‘A lot of people think it may be the actual intensity of the soundwave that's important.’
      • ‘It would be good to know something about the actual content of the meeting.’
      • ‘The doses were very small and were calculated to be small in terms of actual virus particles.’
      • ‘It did make me want to buy one of his CD's, the actual rapping was good, he does has a very distinctive voice.’
      • ‘One of the problems is that for a whole range of drink now, the actual alcohol content in them has gone up.’
      exact, particular, very, specific, distinct
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  • 2Existing now; current.

    ‘using actual income to measure expected income’
    • ‘Nor, at Lord's, is there an actual or present threat of people throwing bottles at players.’
    • ‘If people do not have details of their actual income for this tax year, they must provide an estimate.’
    • ‘This is the gap that exists between the total future market potential and the current actual usage in the market.’
    • ‘Estimates which were lower than the actual income of the taxpayer were not appealed against.’
    • ‘It will need simple but accurate budgets and forecasts to check against actual income and expenditure.’
    • ‘There is a dispute between the parties as to the actual income of the Respondent.’
    • ‘Some people are very good at reducing their actual income to a low taxable income.’
    current, present, existing, existent, extant
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  • in actual fact

    • Used to emphasize a comment that modifies or contradicts a previous statement.

      ‘people talk as if he was a monster—in actual fact he was a very kind guy’
      • ‘Still, I haven't met many people who were kinder and more even-handed, or less racist in actual fact.’
      • ‘I actually had the advantage of reading in detail his words and, in actual fact, he did not quite say that.’
      • ‘In actual fact, it was a pleasant encounter and it is nice to see that coming out of our Police Force.’
      • ‘The accused, in actual fact, had not previously been to Cuba.’
      • ‘But in actual fact, dance classes are fun, active and educational, whether your kid's a budding Bonnie or not.’
      • ‘No, in actual fact, I listen to many types of music including popular music.’
      • ‘In actual fact, the Brazilians could have scored more goals, but this did not happen.’
      • ‘Sometimes a customer will ask for a maintenance contract when, in actual fact, they need a lot more.’
      • ‘In actual fact, we appear to benefit from this change rather than suffer.’
      • ‘They SAID they loved you, but in actual fact, it turned out that they didn't.’
      really, in fact, in actuality, in point of fact, as a matter of fact, in reality, actually, in truth, if truth be told, to tell the truth
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  • your actual —

    • informal The real, genuine, or important thing specified.

      ‘is this a drop of your actual feminine intuition?’
      • ‘Of all the forces that conspire to bring people together, how could they have conspired just as hard to keep you away from a chance to talk to - not just anyone - but one of your actual heroes?’
      • ‘It is not particularly unusual for the village to be split by internecine suspicion, if not your actual warfare.’
      • ‘There's something really great about getting actual mail in your actual mailbox, or handing a card to someone.’
      • ‘I'm in work now, possibly still a bit tipsy, and hoping that no-one asks me to do any of your actual work.’
      • ‘That's your actual philosophical French.’
      • ‘The shop, however, has 10 of the real thing, your actual copyrighted Surfinia plants grown from cuttings, for a tenner.’
      • ‘Where does this leave your actual relatives, I wonder?’
      • ‘In some cases, immigration officials will look for other signs of an Israeli visit, knowing it is quite normal for the authorities to stamp a separate piece of paper rather than your actual passport.’
      • ‘IT'S been another of those win-some, lose-some weeks for your actual contemporary culture.’
      • ‘As for your actual armadillos, well they're very proud of them down there, but I guess they're shy or nocturnal or something as we didn't actually see any.’
      real, true, genuine, authentic, verified, attested, confirmed, definite, hard, plain, clear, clear-cut, undeniable, veritable
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Middle English: from Old French actuel ‘active, practical’, from late Latin actualis, from actus (see act).