Definition of actuality in English:



mass noun
  • 1The state of existing in reality.

    ‘the building looked as impressive in actuality as it did in magazines’
    • ‘In actuality, living where you need a car to do everything runs counter to Ireland's spatial strategy.’
    • ‘The hotel is a temporary residence, so maybe you'll soon move from wish to actuality.’
    • ‘It seems that the image of the economy in the popular mind lags some 20 years behind actuality.’
    • ‘Christianity's foundation centers around the actuality of one event in history.’
    • ‘If ever the world needed a symbol of the potency of the threat that confronts us all, here it was as frightful actuality.’
    • ‘In theory it is great, but when you are doing it in actuality you run into problems that you never envisaged.’
    • ‘It is a movie that struggles for significance as it fashions actuality out of ambiguity.’
    • ‘I want to relate the actuality, the reality of the contemporary performance piece to classical traditions.’
    • ‘Autobiographical immediacy gives his fictitious reign of terror gritty actuality.’
    • ‘The track is nearly seven minutes long, but, in actuality, it feels almost too short.’
    • ‘Lately, most of us have inhabited the space between the terrible actuality and these daydreams.’
    • ‘On the other hand, you shouldn't let actuality get in the way of a good story!’
    • ‘Moreover, the impact of actuality is much more potent in the theater than in the concert hall.’
    • ‘It is that sense of actuality created that helps make the film so very unnerving.’
    • ‘It felt like it had been years since I had last seen her, when in actuality it had only been a few months.’
    • ‘In actuality, the problem is not the weapons themselves but the people who misuse them.’
    • ‘Well, in actuality it's not a question you can give a plain yes or no because it is condition based.’
    • ‘Here the audience is confronted by the transfer of energy and force from concept into actuality.’
    • ‘This is true even as film since Welles is capable of a quasi-realism indistinguishable from actuality.’
    • ‘Sadra warns against the idea that potentiality is prior to actuality in an absolute sense.’
    reality, fact, truth, the real world, real life, existence, living
    really, in fact, in actual fact, in point of fact, as a matter of fact, in reality, actually, in truth, if truth be told, to tell the truth
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1actualities Existing conditions or facts.
      ‘the grim actualities of prison life’
      • ‘These possibilities and actualities turn Berry from a doomsaying prophet into a trusted guide and even a friend, a sharer of hope.’
      • ‘His ideas gave passion to his life - and blinded him to the actualities around him.’
      • ‘And how can we tell the difference between marketing hype and the complex actualities of production and consumption?’
      • ‘Thomas Paine once wrote, ‘We can only reason from what is; we can reason on actualities, but not on possibilities.’’
      • ‘They are imaginative fictions which intersect with aspects of their respective contemporary historical actualities.’
      • ‘Nostalgia about the World War II era has obscured the actualities of that period, with partisan and domestic politics not simply disappearing after Pearl Harbor.’
      • ‘For Schiller, the depiction of these exemplary scenes would serve the function of a practice run, permitting us to become aware of the actualities of history through a protective but transparent barrier.’
      • ‘Although they enthusiastically supported the party's general programme, the bolder among them dared to point out the gap between ideals and actualities.’
      • ‘When do such actualities in the real world of our experience necessarily reshape beliefs inherited from another world and time?’
      • ‘Morality is concerned with how one ought to act rather than actualities such as what one does or might do given impunity from consequences.’
      • ‘They have tended to advocate a certain view of Russia's prospects and of the East-West relationship that may not be warranted by the actualities of the situation.’
      • ‘Anna - absolutely, I'm very much talking about the principle and not the actualities of the situation.’
      • ‘She has a writer's eye for what the connections are between words and actualities, events and the people they happen to.’
      • ‘The lyrical intensity of certain passages conveys with great beauty Lawrence's ‘vision’ as well as the implosion of that vision against the actualities of the Arab world.’
      • ‘He sees not only the actualities in a man, he also sees the possibilities.’
      • ‘Only the most naive ideology could give the same place to this forecast that it does to the political actualities of the German labour movement.’
      • ‘Scale depends on one's capacity to be conscious of the actualities of perception.’
      • ‘It would have been appreciated if their interest in my team had resulted in a communication relating to facts and actualities and not tabloid-type drivel.’
      • ‘But we live not only with positive general principles but with what Tocqueville (him again!) discerned as contradicting actualities.’
      • ‘Truth relates to actualities and objectives external to human perception - insofar as we can prove it, rain is only the precipitation of water vapour in the atmosphere.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘activity’): from Old French actualite or medieval Latin actualitas, from actualis ‘active, practical’, from actus (see act).