Definition of fact in English:



  • 1A thing that is known or proved to be true.

    ‘the most commonly known fact about hedgehogs is that they have fleas’
    [mass noun] ‘a body of fact’
    • ‘The good thing about this particular index is that it is based on plain and simple fact.’
    • ‘So go and see it with your own eyes and discover for yourself if it is an historical fact.’
    • ‘That does not have to be a law of human nature for my argument, just a fact about most of us.’
    • ‘It is a fact that the single most devastating killer of small birds is the domestic cat.’
    • ‘A couple of days later, the true facts, or at least a version of them, began to emerge.’
    • ‘It is a sad fact that when a litter of pigs is born, it is quite normal to have one or two born dead.’
    • ‘Kuhn showed that what counts as a fact to a scientist depends on the current paradigm.’
    • ‘Those sort of facts and statistics are true in so many instances of cancer now.’
    • ‘If they are going to bother to print such an amazing fact, they may as well say why it is amazing.’
    • ‘The couple beside us were toasting the fact of just being alive on so blissful a night.’
    • ‘That does tend to be the case but it is merely a trend, not an incontrovertible fact.’
    • ‘If the facts cannot be so proved, then there is no basis from which to infer a future risk.’
    • ‘Micky is out now and has stayed out for four years, a fact of which he is very proud.’
    • ‘It is a fact that most of those who are on the street have an addiction to drugs or alcohol.’
    • ‘When you took out a book you entered the fact in an exercise book and signed for it.’
    • ‘It is also a fact that there are many things far worse for your health than smokers.’
    • ‘However young you may feel, it is a sad fact that people do slow down as they get older.’
    • ‘I would want none of my people ever to make a mistake or ever to get tired or ever miss a fact in a statement.’
    • ‘Every day another item stated as fact turns out to be based on foundations of sand.’
    • ‘The court decided that no breach of a superior rule of law could be proven on the facts.’
    reality, actuality, certainty, factuality, certitude
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    1. 1.1Information used as evidence or as part of a report or news article.
      ‘even the most inventive journalism peters out without facts, and in this case there were no facts’
      • ‘It is normally for the person alleging facts in support of a claim to adduce proof of such facts.’
      • ‘We work hand in hand with the broadcast teams but don't wait for them to report the facts.’
      • ‘It was simply a question on the facts of this case whether it was acceptable for the inspector to do that.’
      • ‘Two hours is a long while for a documentary, and I left feeling bombarded with facts.’
      • ‘In all cases, we have to distill the facts from the various reports and documents.’
      • ‘The primary facts thus are the evidence of the ceremony that is valid according to local law.’
      • ‘You may recall that that report contained a number of facts that we say had to be dealt with.’
      • ‘They know the facts of their case and the plethora of documents better than anyone.’
      • ‘I cannot myself see any force in the first or second point on the facts as I understand them.’
      • ‘The question for us is whether to admit the new evidence in light of the facts as I have recited.’
      • ‘Evidently the facts do not add up and so the likelihood is that someone is distorting the truth.’
      • ‘Who knows what the true facts of this case are but there is certainly more to it than meets the eye.’
      • ‘It is difficult to think of facts on which there would not be a primary verdict other than neglect.’
      • ‘It was a sign of his intellect that he could muster facts on such a wide range of topics.’
      • ‘The facts in this case are set out in the headnote and I do not propose to repeat them.’
      • ‘If facts are checked by many more sources then the truth is likelier to be told.’
      • ‘In the absence of firm evidence and reliable facts, it is that line which tends to be followed.’
      • ‘His primary concern was always to record the facts rather than to make an effect or a profit.’
      • ‘There is no hint of arrogance in this statement, and all of the facts seem to back his viewpoint.’
      • ‘It was a decision confined to the particular facts and evidence of the particular case.’
      detail, piece of information, particular, item, specific, element, point, factor, feature, characteristic, respect, ingredient, attribute, circumstance, consideration, aspect, facet
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    2. 1.2Used to refer to a particular situation under discussion.
      ‘despite the fact that I'm so tired, sleep is elusive’
      • ‘Kids need to get used to the fact that there are rules to be obeyed for the rest of their lives.’
      • ‘I like the fact that if I turn up, the kids enjoy it and they all get to play more sport.’
      • ‘The situation is not helped by the fact that the mist is making the court damp and slippy.’
      • ‘We should not lose sight of the fact that there has to be a sense of proportion in our debates.’
      • ‘This is despite the fact that we know she is a sharp woman who reads all the papers every day.’
      • ‘Add to this the fact that our physical bodies aren't as important to us as to animals.’
      • ‘Bardem was also drawn to the fact that there is no clear right and wrong in the film.’
      • ‘This is, of course, due to the fact that there is no way in the world that it is ever going to work.’
      • ‘He was amused by the fact that he had been mistaken in his knowledge of what is right and what is left.’
      • ‘It was not so much what I heard that annoyed me but the fact that no action was taken.’
      • ‘Attackers were also deterred by the fact that the police were keeping an eye on them.’
      • ‘You need to take on board the fact that in some cases terminally ill people ask to go home to die.’
      • ‘Her problems were made worse by the fact that the lift was temporarily out of action.’
      • ‘It's not the fact that to get to the crew room I have to go up two flights of stairs and down three.’
      • ‘The hilly course was made worse with the fact that it was pouring with rain and windy as well.’
      • ‘There is an honesty about what they do, helped by the fact that you can see the kitchens.’
      • ‘He led all the way and it was a great race, despite the fact that it had to be run on the Monday.’
      • ‘It might have been comic were it not for the fact that someone was likely to end up being killed.’
      • ‘We want Kirklees Council to respect the fact that most of us want to stay on the estate.’
      • ‘The judge did not refer the jury to the fact that a mistaken witness can be a convincing one.’
    3. 1.3Law [mass noun]The truth about events as opposed to interpretation.
      ‘there was a question of fact as to whether they had received the letter’
      • ‘That is in my judgment so even if it can later be shown that the arbitrator made an error of fact or law.’
      • ‘To make an error of fact or law in the course of arriving at a decision is not even misconduct.’
      • ‘We would then have an opportunity for questions on a point of fact or a clarification.’
      • ‘The Ombudsman is the sole judge of fact and he can only be corrected on errors of law.’
      • ‘If the comment amounts to a statement of fact then it must be proved to be true or privileged.’


  • before (or after) the fact

    • Before (or after) the committing of a crime.

      ‘an accessory before the fact’
      • ‘He conceded that the publication of secret information could be punished after the fact.’
      • ‘The more open they are, the less likely they are to wind up indicted for crimes after the fact.’
      • ‘Families often learn several days after the fact that their relative was a suicide bomber.’
      • ‘Yet when doing so they always sought congressional authority, even if after the fact.’
      • ‘David had been found out and his explanation is after the fact rationalization to put the best face forward on the matter.’
      • ‘All those, although very crucial to crime prevention, are before the fact.’
      • ‘Whenever an instrument tells a lie about some alleged past fact it purports to be made after the fact occurred.’
      • ‘Why does the department cover up for the chief assassin of its officers thirty years after the fact?’
      • ‘First, the photographer snapped it while the lynching was in progress and not after the fact.’
      • ‘The plaintiffs did not authorize many specific transactions but were aware of them after the fact.’
      event, happening, occurrence, incident, act, deed
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  • facts and figures

    • Precise details.

      ‘he presents the facts and figures of his case openly and honestly’
      • ‘A night of restful sleep before the test is the best way to ensure that the brain is ready with facts and figures, when the time comes to put pen to paper.’
      • ‘The Disability Rights Commission doesn't have detailed facts and figures.’
      • ‘Armchair analysts and cricket pundits are catching upon game statistics to reel off facts and figures in an instant.’
      • ‘The plaintiffs would then have to give particulars and facts and figures to support it.’
      • ‘And people can request facts and figures on current issues as well as from local authority files dating back hundreds of years.’
      • ‘Dozens of websites are devoted to compiling facts and figures about the number 23 and detailing those whose lives have been ruled by it.’
      • ‘You're great at math and science because you prefer hard facts and figures over messy concepts and ideas.’
      • ‘Sure, he'll talk about money and finance - those facts and figures - but won't touch topics closer to my heart.’
      • ‘The message in this particular context was that an over-dependence on facts and figures to prove a specific point could be unrealistic.’
      • ‘People need to be informed of undisputed facts and figures to enable a clear assessment of the situation.’
  • a fact of life

    • Something that must be accepted and cannot be changed, however unpalatable.

      ‘baldness is a fact of life for a lot of men’
      • ‘The role of international financial markets seemed to be accepted as a fact of life, even though not always a pleasant one.’
      • ‘Terrorism may be rare, but terror warnings have become a fact of life.’
      • ‘It's a fact of life that students, when they graduate, will have to pay off their debts and fit into the commercial world.’
      • ‘Do you expect to have a life of your own outside work or are long hours and burnout just a fact of life you have accepted?’
      • ‘Sunday drinking has also become a fact of life in recent years, as a host of licensing restrictions have been swept away.’
      • ‘The family cat, Snowbell, has started accepting Stuart as a fact of life and part of the family.’
      • ‘After much fighting and agitating you accept sorrow, pain or difficulty as a fact of life.’
      • ‘In a normal environment, disease is a fact of life, but it's one we ignore at our peril.’
      • ‘Downward mobility was and seems to have been accepted as an irreducible fact of life.’
      • ‘Some feel there is neither rhyme nor reason as to this regular occurrence but we have to accept it as a fact of life.’
  • the facts of life

    • Information about sexual functions and practices, especially as given to children.

      • ‘They handle reproduction very tastefully, concentrating on the genetic facts of life rather than physical how-tos.’
      • ‘So they give students a ‘fact based’ education, but what good are the facts of life without the guidance to use them?’
      • ‘My children will let me know when they are ready to learn about the facts of life.’
      • ‘Sharon got to sit in her bedroom, listening to her mom explain the true facts of life.’
      • ‘They were left to play in blissful ignorance until such a time, as they were old enough to understand the sexual facts of life.’
      • ‘They need basic facts of life, and information about health and contraception.’
      • ‘Physical abuse, worries over the facts of life, family rows and sexual abuse were listed as the other top problems which prompt that age group to call for help.’
      • ‘She welcomes the new approach which still teaches the facts of life and contraception but also looks at relationships and taking responsibility for decisions.’
      • ‘I know it is easy enough to find out the facts of life by yourself but I do believe that a place like a school can and should help on the subject.’
      • ‘She was educated about the facts of life both at home and at school but she had the attitude that nothing could touch her.’
  • the fact of the matter

    • The truth.

      ‘the fact of the matter is that few such cases reach the magistrates' courts’
      • ‘Well, despite all this, the fact of the matter is that, look, flying has always been relatively safe.’
      • ‘And the fact of the matter is, anybody can become violent under the right circumstances.’
      • ‘But the fact of the matter is that this incident occurred and I would like an explanation from whoever is in charge.’
      • ‘That's not a criticism, that's a description of what I think is the fact of the matter.’
      • ‘And the fact of the matter is, is we are busy responding to the last threat, which is the terrorist threat.’
      • ‘And the fact of the matter is, these advertisers are paying for these programs.’
      • ‘I think that the fact of the matter is there are plenty of women who are interested in helping other women come up through the ranks.’
      • ‘They battled bravely even when defeat was staring them in the face, but the fact of the matter is that they are not yet ready to take on teams in the top flight.’
      • ‘The simple fact of the matter is that he was the first to use the name in the field of popular music.’
      • ‘But the fact of the matter is, any time you ingest a pill, a chemical, there is going to be a risk.’
      • ‘And the fact of the matter is, he did what many, many people would do in that situation, right or wrong.’
      the fact of the matter, what actually happened, what really happened, the case, so
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  • in (point of) fact

    • Used to emphasize the truth of an assertion, especially one opposite to what might be expected or what has been asserted.

      ‘the brook trout is in fact a char’
      • ‘Well, in point of fact, both sides have recognized and acknowledged that this mid-air collision took place in international waters.’
      • ‘Whether she was in fact telling the truth is of course an entirely different matter.’
      • ‘And in point of fact, the notion that any species is ‘more evolved’ than another in evolutionary theory is nonsense right from the start.’
      • ‘Now that is so easy to raise hopes and, in point of fact, hype results, but this experimental vaccine has proved to be, so far, 100 percent effective in some instances.’
      • ‘I looked down at the hand of his I could see and realized he was in fact telling the truth.’
      • ‘It is in fact the truth: she's told the story so many times she now thinks she made it up.’
      • ‘This seems like an obvious truth, and yet there is in fact no evidence to support it.’
      • ‘You were actually in contest with your governor, in point of fact, over the awarding of contracts to foreign-based companies.’
      • ‘In other words, this opposition group, in point of fact, has a very good record in terms of its accuracy and its veracity?’
      • ‘Intelligence is not all that important in the exercise of power, and is often, in point of fact, useless.’
      actually, in actuality, in actual fact, really, in reality, in point of fact, as a matter of fact, in truth, if truth be told, to tell the truth, the truth is, the truth was
      indeed, truly
      in sooth, verily
      in the concrete
      in fact, as a matter of fact, actually, in actual fact, really, in reality, as it happens, in truth, to tell the truth, truly
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Late 15th century: from Latin factum, neuter past participle of facere do. The original sense was ‘an act’, later ‘a crime’, surviving in the phrase before (or after) the fact. The earliest of the current senses ( ‘truth, reality’) dates from the late 16th century.