Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. In fact; in reality: That tree is actually a fir, not a pine.
  • adv. Used to express wonder, surprise, or incredulity: I actually won the lottery!

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. In act or in fact; really; in truth; positively.
  • adv. actively

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. Actively.
  • adv. In act or in fact; really; in truth; positively.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • As an actual or existing fact; really; in truth: often used as an expression of wonder or surprise: as, he actually accomplished what he undertook.
  • By action or active manifestation; in act or deed; practically.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. as a sentence modifier to add slight emphasis
  • adv. in actual fact
  • adv. used to imply that one would expect the fact to be the opposite of that stated; surprisingly
  • adv. at the present moment

Etymologies

actual ("real, true, veritable") + -ly (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The “actually” operator in modal logic is supposed to mirror the behavior of the English adverb ˜actually™ and adjective ˜actual™ in the examples below:

    Names

  • If the Cons do a volte-face and actually...*actually* put out policies to do national good, then kicking, screaming or otherwise, they were forced into it by the opposition parties standing up and booting them in the ass.

    It's prorogation.

  • Oh, wait, such content is actually very difficult to find, according to anyone who * actually* knows anything about it.

    Medlogs - Recent stories

  • not that the site is actually like that, and not that you *actually* believe that climate science is valid, and the only reason you oppose political action is because of minor, inconsequential, hypothetical, unproven problems that you admit are probably meaningless.

    Steve Had a Little List

  • There are situations in which I take the lead and I protect him (mostly that’s for emotional stuff rather than physical though) thinking about this is quite disturbing actually to realise just how much pressure I must be putting on him to PROTECT me to TAKE CARE of me to LEAD – yeah I think I need to be dealing with that actually… good job I started writing this eh?

    the-moo Diary Entry

  • 'The phrase actually translates as "this place is awe-inspiring", terribilis in an Old Testament sense rather than "terrible" in a modern sense, but you can imagine how it's been interpreted.'

    Sepulchre

  • "Making Plans for Lena" (the French title actually translates as "No, My Girl, You Won't Go Dancing"), the beautiful Chiara Mastroianni -- she's the daughter of Catherine Deneuve and Marcello Mastroianni -- plays a recovering divorcee who hides out at her family's place in the country while deciding if she can manage her two kids on her own.

    Politics

  • Even though they pointed out the word actually translates as "Vaporize," the Russians still had a good laugh because I think they understood where we were coming from.

    iowahawk

  • And yet, according to Capture's co-founder Tara Sharp, the label actually contains layers of meaning.

    Judging a Wine by What It Wears

  • (And the fact is, my name actually is Yiddish for "Generic Jewish Kid.")

    May 2006

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Comments

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  • He actually isn't the president of our company.

    March 14, 2007

  • His mother said that she is satisfied with her son's grades. But actually, she wasn't.

    March 13, 2007

  • This is actually a word I use far too often!

    February 7, 2007

  • The word "actually", an adverb, is spoken both publically, and in private conversations, like a skipping CD.

    November 30, 2006