Definition of really in English:



  • 1In actual fact, as opposed to what is said or imagined to be true or possible.

    ‘so what really happened?’
    ‘they're not really my aunt and uncle’
    sentence adverb ‘really, there are only three options’
    • ‘I think we should all turn to the person on our left and acknowledge the fact that we really are blessed.’
    • ‘If they really are true supporters, they might consider getting behind the club and working for its future.’
    • ‘Again, neither the affirmative nor the negative answer is really satisfactory.’
    • ‘The boldness comes in the fact that this is really the end of the film.’
    • ‘Is it really possible to sue people over email when the address is not verifiable?’
    • ‘Could it really be the fact or the case that we only value allies who disagree with us?’
    • ‘It s no longer really possible to live up to that part of the custom but the spirit remains the same.’
    • ‘The other thing I really liked was the fact that the story really was neverending.’
    • ‘In fact teaching and research really constitute a single mission, the pursuit of knowledge.’
    • ‘Despite their size and the fact that they really are sharks, they are gentle, harmless creatures.’
    • ‘In actual fact I didn't really see him make many mistakes with that at all.’
    • ‘It's not really possible to say as I'm 20 pages and less than a single chapter into the book.’
    • ‘It was a fascinating story and well worth the telling, but is it likely or possible that Davis was really so sainted?’
    • ‘Anyone who imagines a perfect bureaucracy really is living in a world of fantasy.’
    • ‘Perhaps it is time to wake up to the fact that there really is only one person to blame for all these happenings and that is ourselves.’
    • ‘It's just that he thinks this is a fact and nothing really can be done about it.’
    • ‘The ticket stub in my wallet has served as a reminder that it really was true.’
    • ‘Can it really be possible that the web has an innate ability to unite its users into some more powerful collective?’
    • ‘The spirits were incredibly high, as you can imagine, and they really went out of their way to get me involved.’
    • ‘In actual fact, what you really see in the television studio is a blank blue screen.’
    in fact, in actual fact, actually, in reality, in point of fact, as a matter of fact, in truth, if truth be told, to tell the truth, in actuality
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    1. 1.1 Used to emphasize a statement or opinion.
      ‘I really want to go’
      ‘I'm sorry, Ruth, I really am’
      • ‘If they would, they really ought to stop what they're doing now and go home.’
      • ‘I really ought to hope that the murderous pair repented before they died.’
      • ‘The negative ones echo my own opinion that the book really isn't very good.’
      • ‘So I really ought to walk the mile to Lisa's workplace to meet her for lunch now.’
      • ‘They have been called the best live band in Britain so often that they really ought to get it printed on stationery.’
      • ‘Having been such a fan of the films for so long, I thought I really ought to see what inspired them.’
      • ‘When you've finished you wonder why you made all that fuss, and I really ought to be used to it by now.’
      • ‘Inevitably there will be people who think I ought really to be getting married.’
      • ‘Sit on this porch, persuade the few tourist cars that arrived that they really ought to turn back.’
      • ‘I really cannot imagine just how much rubbish she and her partner can possibly generate.’
      • ‘Normally, that ought to be a sure sign to someone like me that I really ought to forget about it.’
      • ‘The authorities, in all their wisdom, really ought to dream up a more appealing format, you feel.’
      • ‘There's their flatmate William who really ought to be getting a place of his own by now.’
      • ‘I ought really to balance this out with a list of the good things that happened.’
      • ‘Yes, you really ought to hate Richards for all that good fortune, but the trouble is, you can't.’
      • ‘Because of the nature of the estate and the situation of the post office this is one branch that we really ought to fight to retain.’
      • ‘I'm getting the urge to redesign the site again but really ought to wait and see the year out I think!’
      • ‘The next step is then to find all the things that you think really ought to fit into the definition of existence.’
      • ‘But people really ought to be ecstatic because it's become such an awful place to work.’
      • ‘It is really time that the opinions of the people of this country were heard clearly by our politicians.’
      genuinely, truly, honestly
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    2. 1.2 Seriously (used in questions and exclamations with an implied negative answer)
      ‘do you really expect me to believe that?’
      • ‘In the face of the complicated nature of pornography can any of us really answer this seemingly simple question?’
      • ‘Ok, nobody likes messy pavements or hawking in public, but is fining people for doing it really the answer?’
      • ‘In a time of increased tensions, is further segregation really the answer?’
      • ‘Who really imagines it's possible to tell from one frame whether or a tape is genuine?’
      • ‘Does she really imagine that the way forward for the party is not to embrace change?’
      • ‘Are we really entitled to shout questions at politicians and expect answers whenever we want?’
      • ‘Will getting motorists to drive more slowly on the motorway really help reduce global warming?’
      • ‘As an aside, I'd like to ask the question: Do questions really need to be justified?’
      • ‘Is this really the answer for Scotland, which boasts some of the greatest salmon streams in the world?’
      • ‘Amazingly feminist and real about the women's feelings, can it really have been written by a bloke?’
      • ‘You keep talking about equal culpability, but that is not really the question, is it?’
      • ‘Can a director really make an impact doing only things that come easily to him?’
      • ‘Do those who write this stuff really think that people who teach small children have small minds?’
      • ‘Does the minister really believe that changing the lyrics of rap records would reduce gun use?’
      • ‘Do you think an organised group like yours can really have an impact on who wins?’
      • ‘Can this medium really have a genuine impact on the masses or is it another internet fashion?’
      • ‘Is it really a question of jurisdiction or whether there is a justiciable issue?’
      • ‘So can it really be true that his latest film is, well, quite funny?’
      • ‘If you fine them, is the fine going to really impact on the children rather than on the parent?’
      • ‘Is there really a very frightening and powerful structure behind this man, or not?’
      genuinely, honestly, with all sincerity, truly, truthfully, wholeheartedly, with all one's heart, from the bottom of one's heart, earnestly, fervently, seriously
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  • 2as submodifier Very; thoroughly.

    ‘I think she's really great’
    ‘a really cold day’
    • ‘I ask all of those sorts of questions because I am really concerned about this issue.’
    • ‘We only have about two months of winter here and only one of those is really cold.’
    • ‘In fact, ginger is really versatile in its health benefits so you should try it in various ways.’
    • ‘He has often wondered why his blog is so popular but it comes down to the guy can write really well.’
    • ‘The problem is, this is the bit about card writing and receiving I really enjoy.’
    • ‘The idea was to give us peace and quiet, but it was really cold, and suddenly we weren't going so quick.’
    • ‘If you are running behind time it is much more effective to answer all questions briefly than it is to answer a few really well.’
    • ‘Not training due to my cold has really started to worry me, to eat away at me.’
    • ‘I was so angry about colonization and really into the fact that Canada has a lot of stolen land.’
    • ‘I had a day off yesterday and as you can see I got some really deep poems written.’
    • ‘Imagine George Orwell, only with slightly different political opinions and in a really bad mood.’
    • ‘The really big question for the rest of us in Europe is what victory for one side or the other will mean in economic terms.’
    • ‘It may be that there is a really straightforward answer and that it appears here somewhere.’
    • ‘In other words, it's a question of what really gets you impassioned, instinctively.’
    • ‘Before we did anything we wrote and rewrote the script until we felt what we had got written down was a really good story.’
    • ‘It's a really difficult question to answer because we can do a lot about dissymmetry.’
    • ‘All the poor guy can do is try to answer the question before something really nasty happens.’
    • ‘The woman who wrote it was really off with me right from the minute we met.’
    • ‘If you're really good at answering questions there are now two ways you can earn money.’
    • ‘There may well be a case for introducing more demanding questions for the really high flyers.’
    genuinely, truly, honestly
    very, extremely, thoroughly, decidedly, awfully, terribly, frightfully, dreadfully, fearfully, exceptionally, exceedingly, immensely, uncommonly, remarkably, eminently, extraordinarily, most, positively, downright
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  • 1Used to express interest, surprise, or doubt.

    ‘‘I've been working hard.’ ‘Really?’’
    • ‘People remember 10%, 20%...Oh Really?’
    is that so, is that a fact, well i never, well i never did
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    1. 1.1 Used to express mild protest.
      ‘really, Marjorie, you do jump to conclusions!’
    2. 1.2US Used to express agreement.
      ‘‘It's a nightmare finding somewhere to live in this town.’ ‘Yeah, really.’’


  • really and truly

    • Used to emphasize the sincerity of a statement or opinion.

      ‘I sometimes wonder whether you really and truly love me’
      • ‘I'll try, really and truly, to snap out of it quickly.’
      • ‘I mean, really and truly, how do you get by during the day?’
      • ‘You are really and truly, happy for your friend because something fantastic is happening in their life, but at the same time you are so jealous of them that you want to scream.’
      • ‘But ‘despite all that, it is still not a proper job and I continue to have the distinct feeling that, really and truly, I should have been at work.’’
      • ‘What seems to have been forgotten in all this recent discussion of the fairness of lodging house bylaws is that students, really and truly, are very different from average citizens.’