One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Philosophy. The doctrine that only what is actual exists, and hence entities which are only possible do not exist; belief in the importance of the actual.
2Realism in description or representation; = "actuality".
historical Geology. The theory or principle that changes in the geological past can be explained in terms of processes observable in the present. Compare actualist. Now chiefly historical.See also actualist
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Brownson's Quarterly Review. From actual + -ism.
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