Definition of actually in English:



  • 1As the truth or facts of a situation.

    ‘we must pay attention to what young people are actually doing’
    • ‘I find myself sat despondently at my desk, trying to come to terms with the fact that I actually have to work for living.’
    • ‘He wittily captures the psychology of the situation without actually showing many of the faces.’
    • ‘What is not arguable is the fact that Martin actually killed someone and that this had to be punished under the present legal system.’
    • ‘I love the fact that I can actually see the changes happening week by week.’
    • ‘In fact, I can't actually remember the last time I had such a eureka moment.’
    • ‘As long as I kept moving and writing my novel, I wouldn't have to deal with the fact no-one actually liked it.’
    • ‘Somewhere in this mass of opinions and actual fact lies the truth about what is actually safe.’
    • ‘We'll do everything we can to stop that and just shut down the fact that it's actually happened.’
    • ‘But they were agreed on the fact that the match actually provided some entertainment in the second half.’
    • ‘That this situation continues and is actually getting worse is simply not good enough.’
    • ‘In fact, from the above conclusions the truth is actually even more complicated.’
    • ‘In fact no Marines had actually encountered an enemy yet, spokesmen said.’
    • ‘If Reynolds was still in her job, it might have been possible to actually get the facts on that.’
    • ‘In fact, my house actually backed onto their fields where I walked my dog every day, so it was hardly a trip into the unknown.’
    • ‘There's the fact that I can't actually live in it because it is devoid of a kitchen and bathroom’
    • ‘This was slightly dampened by the fact that we actually know this guy.’
    • ‘Before you say something about somebody, make sure that you actually know the facts.’
    • ‘At the same time, I thought the fact that she'd actually survived was weirdly heroic.’
    • ‘It's a timely reminder of the fact that actually it isn't the media who have the power to make important decisions.’
    • ‘As I got older, I actually learned the truth, which is both better and worse than this.’
  • 2[sentence adverb] Used to emphasize that something someone has said or done is surprising.

    ‘he actually expected me to be pleased about it!’
    • ‘Satyne expected him to just go into it but he actually waited for her permission.’
    • ‘We both turned around and I was actually quite surprised to see the two of them hugging.’
    • ‘In the early days, many authors were surprised that we actually paid them to write for us.’
    • ‘Scott was surprised that that we actually got to watch little kid movies in school.’
    • ‘The big surprise is that I actually hit some deliveries, although I have no idea how.’
    • ‘To his surprise the doorbell actually worked and Sid was soon standing in the open doorway.’
    • ‘She was pretty surprised that he actually obeyed her, and managed to hide her smile.’
    • ‘Visitors to this blog will be surprised to find it actually contains some words and not just a series of random pictures.’
    • ‘It was an even bigger surprise that he actually had the audacity to call security.’
    • ‘I was actually quite surprised that people were very eager to share their plants.’
    • ‘When it comes, we are actually a little surprised at how she handles the situation.’
    • ‘She surprised me then by actually seeming to get annoyed about it.’
    • ‘Perceptions actually varied surprisingly little between users and non-users.’
    • ‘He never really expected to actually see this girl again, let alone live in the same town.’
    • ‘I held out a hand jokingly but to my surprise he actually gave the ten-dollar bill to me.’
    • ‘To her big surprise, she actually managed to get her car out of the ditch within moments.’
    • ‘I motioned for her to follow me into the barn and was surprised when she actually did.’
    • ‘To her surprise, the puppy actually obeyed her and walked cheerfully over to the tub.’
    • ‘Did she actually expect me to yell and hoot alongside with her and dance to Justin?’
    • ‘What surprised me was she actually came over and gave him a huge hug, and cried with me.’
    • ‘It took a second or two for Rieff to realise that Doyle was actually expecting an answer.’
    • ‘I was actually a bit surprised that more people didn't agree with you.’
    literally, to all intents and purposes, in effect
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Used when expressing a contradictory or unexpected opinion or correcting someone.
      ‘‘Tom's happy anyway.’ ‘He isn't, actually, not any more.’’
      • ‘It wasn't any torture in the hospital; on the contrary it was actually enjoyable.’
      • ‘The First pub - well actually it's a bar called Blue - is quite packed.’
      • ‘Actually, the Commission decision is somewhat more enlightening, because it gives more facts and more directly discusses the sexual harassment theory.’
      • ‘In fact, they will actually be encouraged that I am bringing people in.’
      • ‘Despite appearances to the contrary, squirrels are actually pretty mean.’
      • ‘It is easy to think that poker has reached saturation, but actually this is far from correct.’
      • ‘She had smiled, and it was nice and informal, but actually there is something slightly regal about her.’
      • ‘I was pleased to inform him that actually, I do have a full bike licence.’
      • ‘Its actually not as depressing as you would imagine for the topic.’
      • ‘It's not true, actually, I learnt lots of things.’
      • ‘The reason is that although it seemed like you had a valid contract, you actually did not.’
      • ‘There is actually no truth whatsoever in this and we apologise to all.’
      • ‘Contrary to popular opinion, county cricket actually has quite a lot going for it.’
      really, in fact, in actual fact, in point of fact, as a matter of fact, in reality, in actuality, in truth, if truth be told, to tell the truth
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2Used to introduce a new topic or to add information to a previous statement.
      ‘he had a thick Cockney accent—he sounded like my grandad actually’
      • ‘I am a small fry; actually I am just small and no fry because this statement has already fried me.’
      • ‘Oh, my copy of this album (actually I have two) doesn't contain the bonus tracks.’
      • ‘When he had agreed (actually he had been dragged into it) to working in is his father's law firm he never knew it would be this much work.’