Definition of actually in English:



  • 1As the truth or facts of a situation.

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

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