Definition of reality in English:

reality

noun

  • 1The world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.

    ‘he refuses to face reality’
    ‘Laura was losing touch with reality’
    • ‘It happens in stock markets when they lose touch with reality.’
    • ‘Unfortunately though, this only seems to be a good idea, instead of reality.’
    • ‘It is so easy for prime ministers to lose touch with reality.’
    • ‘I started perceiving the world in terms of wishes as opposed to reality.’
    • ‘No other nation has ever been quite so obsessed by defining what it is, or troubled by the idea that reality might not measure up to the ideal.’
    • ‘She said that the students are slowly losing touch with reality.’
    • ‘You see, a long time ago, some academic came up with the idea that reality doesn't actually exist.’
    • ‘Such details spice up the account of a wartime dictator losing touch with reality.’
    • ‘In reality Maddy had no idea if he'd actually slept with her, but it wasn't her business to ask or even know.’
    • ‘In a play that makes play with ideas about art and reality, one of the more stimulating paradoxes occurred offstage.’
    • ‘The above is one development of the idea that reality is socially constructed.’
    • ‘Will a love of knowledge and the written word lead to me lose touch with reality and normal society and decide that there is no longer any need for me to wash?’
    • ‘One of our biggest problems is perception as opposed to reality.’
    • ‘Recognition and acceptance of truth and reality replaces false ideas.’
    • ‘But this new theology is vulnerable because it has long since lost any touch with reality.’
    • ‘But for him, history was still the history of ideas, reality was secondary.’
    • ‘For many though, the idea of getting beyond reality is not such a scary prospect.’
    • ‘It has kept all of us in touch with reality as it exists in Tokyo and Japan along with a better understanding of what Tokyo and Japan are all about.’
    • ‘Although it sounds glamorous and fun, Caldwell says there is a danger you can lose touch with reality.’
    • ‘It was clear to me that I would soon lose touch with reality unless I did something that mattered.’
    the real world, real life, actuality
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A thing that is actually experienced or seen, especially when this is grim or problematic.
      ‘the harsh realities of life in a farming community’
      ‘the law ignores the reality of the situation’
      • ‘It wants to make sure it cannot actually focus on the realities of family life.’
      • ‘We have met before and the reality of personal experience is very different.’
      • ‘It is clear that that may be difficult to enforce against the realities of everyday domestic life.’
      • ‘I had been invited to experience the reality of front line policing in the town by joining the Swindon response team for the night.’
      • ‘When faced with the reality of these experiences, part of the problem is doubt as to whether they are real or imagined.’
      • ‘This is part of the reality of women's experience in today's Ireland.’
      • ‘The reality of her mother dying sank in deep as she saw the look of fear in her mother's eyes.’
      • ‘Some of these children have their own first-hand experience of the realities of war.’
      • ‘No one on this campus wants to diminish the reality of the horrible experience of sexual assault.’
      • ‘The reality of the child's early experience may or may not be known.’
      • ‘When a big issue is on, do we want someone who might be prepared to fudge the realities of truth in order to meet his or her own ends?’
      • ‘The above point reflects a deep tendency in Western societies to deny the reality of life as a biological reality.’
      • ‘I have no problem with teaching our children the realities of life and war in the past.’
      • ‘None has been so determined to finesse the difficult realities of the post-cold war world.’
      • ‘The reality of motherhood is trainers, a fleece, a worry list and a mobile phone.’
      • ‘Anywhere outside you will experience the reality of traffic going forwards - in quantity, at speed.’
      • ‘This language is so personal that the reader cannot be drawn to the reality of the experience.’
      • ‘Soon experience told them to look at the realities of life and how the laws of nature work.’
      • ‘The reality of this truth was manifested at the last election.’
      • ‘But when image is your concern, the unpleasant realities of war present big problems.’
      fact, actuality, truth, verity
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A thing that exists in fact, having previously only existed in one's mind.
      ‘the paperless office may yet become a reality’
      • ‘However, many barriers exist for exotic dancers to make their dreams a reality.’
      • ‘THE UK is a nation of aspiring entrepreneurs, but nearly half have no clue as to how to make their dream a reality, according to research.’
      • ‘But it took nearly thirty years to make that dream a reality.’
      • ‘A disagreement in private is a division in theory - once exposed in public it becomes a reality, a fact to which others are compelled to respond.’
      • ‘Champagne wishes and caviar dreams became a reality onboard the Concorde.’
      • ‘But a York research team is at the forefront of a project which aims to make this previously far-fetched dream a reality.’
      • ‘The legislation to make co-housing a reality in Sydney already exists in the form of the Community Titles Act.’
      • ‘It was left to the Bentham community to raise a further £10,000 in matched funding to prove its commitment and make the dream a reality.’
      • ‘This fear thankfully has not become a reality, in fact trade in this area is up.’
      • ‘Lia shivered at the chill in the air and at the fact that her dream might become a reality.’
      • ‘You guys have turned an old man's dream into a reality; in fact, you've made history.’
      • ‘Young skaters in Solva had also worked hard to try to make their dream a reality, raising over £5,000 to help finance the scheme.’
      • ‘Thomas Watson's dream became a reality when he bestowed a magnificent gift on the town by giving Howard House to be site for the new hospital.’
      • ‘Economic unification is still a dream, not a reality.’
      • ‘To date, broadband is rolling out faster in Ireland than in any other country in Europe, so perhaps this dream could become a reality.’
      • ‘Iran were safely accounted for and the dream became a reality.’
      • ‘You strive to make the ideal in your mind become a reality on the canvas of Time.’
      • ‘When we were Middlesex teammates, he vowed that he wanted to play for England, and he was ready to listen, learn and put in the hard work to turn his dreams into a reality.’
      • ‘She had always wanted to be a nurse and turned her childhood dream into a reality when she signed up for nurse training at Leicester Hospital 13 years ago.’
      • ‘Both men also had a special word of gratitude for all those who willingly gave so much of their free time over the years to help the complex dream to become a reality.’
    3. 1.3 The quality of being lifelike or resembling an original.
      ‘the reality of Marryat's detail’
      • ‘He loved acting and the people that were in it and that could produce and create moments of great reality.’
      • ‘Harsh reality is created with striking clarity throughout the collection, leaving the reader both awed and dismayed.’
      • ‘All of that combines to work against the sense of immersion and reality created by the graphics and large gameworld.’
      • ‘Only when films regain the sparks of creativity, originality and reality, will we see crowds in cinema halls again.’
      verisimilitude, authenticity, realism, fidelity, faithfulness
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4as modifier Relating to reality TV.
      ‘a reality show’
      • ‘Think of all the reality television shows where most confrontations are between the men.’
      • ‘I am sure it will prove to be another one of the more quality reality shows out there.’
      • ‘It only goes to show how wrong your perceptions can be, even given all the advantages of the reality television format.’
      • ‘Would you watch a reality television show based around a celebrity footballer?’
      • ‘That is very different from reality television or commercial porn sites, where the machines are owned and steered by a company.’
      • ‘But it is this producer who takes the programme beyond the usual reality television dross.’
      • ‘The irony is that a reality television programme made headlines for becoming just a little too real, a little too authentic.’
      • ‘Channel Five's reality television extravaganza is back on our telly screens.’
      • ‘But this is no gameshow - this is not gratuitous reality television.’
      • ‘Unlike more infamous reality television programming, there are no contests to play, no prizes to be won.’
      • ‘It is no use complaining about reality television on the grounds that it's too real.’
      • ‘The show explores the 15 minutes of fame bestowed on the participants of reality television.’
      • ‘Bear in mind, though, that premium rate numbers are also used legitimately for chat lines and for voting on some popular reality television shows.’
      • ‘And they said, how would you like to host the first reality television program?’
      • ‘This is real reality television, because it could actually really happen to you!’
      • ‘There can be no doubt that the reality television format is producing increased corporate earnings.’
      • ‘Walsh is determined to distance the group from its reality TV-based roots.’
      • ‘If networks run out of ideas for reality shows before the viewers get sick of them, then they'll return to a scripted program format.’
      • ‘Within the reality television genre itself, new strains and amalgamations have emerged.’
      • ‘This is the original reality television; people are being killed, young men are putting their lives at risk to defend what they believe in.’
  • 2The state or quality of having existence or substance.

    ‘youth, when death has no reality’
    • ‘In those cases the House in effect decided that the substance or reality of the composite transactions was to be considered free of any artificial steps.’
    • ‘This statement on creating emotional reality affords me the opportunity I've been looking for.’
    • ‘When survivor stories are told, history moves from mythic quality to reality.’
    • ‘This is the premise upon which the revenue claim the high ground of substance and reality.’
    • ‘One cannot ignore the enormous influence of advertising and media in creating reality in this era.’
    • ‘All these elements help hide the very manufactured TV show, which seems to lack any substance of reality.’
    • ‘In both films, there is the savage horror of brief, brutal bursts of carnage; the quivering fear of death; the grim reality of war.’
    • ‘There is a quality of immediacy and reality in what writing is taken to be.’
    • ‘Is there reality without observation, existence without consciousness?’
    • ‘It's when we pretend that the mirage is reality that we create a dangerous situation, one that everyone knows is there but no one will talk about.’
    • ‘It purifies our thoughts that we might know that God is the Source and Substance of all reality.’
    • ‘It was emphasised once again that it was the function of the courts to determine the true nature of the substance and reality of the transaction.’
    • ‘Rather it will remain as an empty shell of formal jurisdiction, without any substantive reality.’
    • ‘Kunzru is unable to give his India any sense of substance or reality, trading instead in cliché and stereotype.’
    • ‘A film is a highly manipulative exercise using sound, image and time to create the illusion of reality.’
    • ‘One of them is childhood sexuality; another is recognition of the physical reality of death.’
    • ‘Not only that, the filmmakers created a provocative action film that ponders the essence of reality and identity.’
    • ‘I know, because I've witnessed the stunning reality of daily existence in the North.’
    • ‘It is a hollow, empty show, utterly devoid of substance and reality.’
    • ‘However what will be decisive will be the substance and reality of the language creating the offence rather than its form.’
    1. 2.1Philosophy Existence that is absolute, self-sufficient, or objective, and not subject to human decisions or conventions.
      • ‘It is again the same end effect, but the perspective is fundamentally different as it is based upon a subjective rather than objective reality.’
      • ‘We accept a parallel subordination of subjective appearance to objective reality in other areas.’
      • ‘No, I'm saying there is no ultimate reality, no objective existence, no ontology at all.’
      • ‘It appears to suggest that some kind of moral objective reality is necessary for ethical functioning.’
      • ‘Language for these philosophers is not a transparent window into a universal, objective reality.’

Phrases

  • in reality

    • In actual fact (used to contrast a false idea of what is true or possible with one that is more accurate)

      ‘she had believed she could control these feelings, but in reality that was not so easy’
      • ‘Everyone has their fantasies but in reality very few men actually fulfill them.’
      • ‘While this might appear to be a dispute about a material fact, in reality it is not.’
      • ‘I appreciate that many people go to the movies to escape reality, but in reality there is no escape.’
      • ‘Initially they may seem excellent to admire but, in reality, some can be of very dubious quality.’
      • ‘They seem so remote, although in reality civilisation is never very far away.’
      • ‘In fact, in reality, the cottage's location turned out to be even better than that!’
      • ‘Interest rates appear to be more affordable than at any previous time, but in reality they are very high.’
      • ‘He may be amused by the idea but in reality it would never suit a man with such unabashed ambition.’
      • ‘It is tempting to suggest nothing has changed, but in reality everything has.’
      • ‘We like to think our media are free, but in reality they often dance to another's tune.’
      in fact, in actual fact, in point of fact, as a matter of fact, actually, really, in truth, if truth be told
      View synonyms
  • the reality is ——

    • Used to assert that the truth of a matter is not what one would think or expect.

      ‘the popular view of the Dobermann is of an aggressive guard dog—the reality is very different’
      • ‘Some people expect it to be dynamic and aggressive but the reality is that it's slow.’
      • ‘But the system is far from fallible and the reality is somewhat disgusting.’
      • ‘Three and a half years after the promises, the reality is that one in nine people now work more than 60 hours every week.’
      • ‘But the reality is that in a competitive world people seek out the brands.’
      • ‘While everyone in the policy world is talking about the rising problem of racism, the reality is almost the opposite.’
      • ‘We should not be giving special treatment to someone purely on the strength of their spending power but the reality is that we have to.’
      • ‘It does not matter when it was; the reality is that that was what was in place.’
      • ‘Maybe people are suspicious of me, but the reality is that I'm spending most of my time looking at how we make the club game work.’
      • ‘Well, the reality is if you are an experienced buyer you will always get what you want at a competitive price.’
      • ‘On the other hand, the reality is that Japan simply cannot afford such an expensive gamble.’

Origin

Late 15th century: via French from medieval Latin realitas, from late Latin realis ‘relating to things’ (see real).

Pronunciation

reality

/riˈælədi//rēˈalədē/