American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Knowledge or information based on real occurrences: an account based on fact; a blur of fact and fancy.
- n. Something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed: Genetic engineering is now a fact. That Chaucer was a real person is an undisputed fact.
- n. A real occurrence; an event: had to prove the facts of the case.
- n. Something believed to be true or real: a document laced with mistaken facts.
- n. A thing that has been done, especially a crime: an accessory before the fact.
- n. Law The aspect of a case at law comprising events determined by evidence: The jury made a finding of fact.
- idiom. in (point of) fact In reality or in truth; actually.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Anything done; an act; a deed; a feat.
- n. A real state of things, as distinguished from a statement or belief; that in the real world agreement or disagreement with which makes a proposition true or false; a real inherence of an attribute in a substance, corresponding to the relation between the predicate and the subject of a proposition. By a few writers things in the concrete and the universe in its entirety are spoken of as facts; but according to the almost universal acceptation, a fact is not the whole concrete reality in any case, but an abstract element of the reality. Thus, Julius Cæsar is not called a fact; but that Julius Cæsar invaded Britain is said to have been a fact, or to be a fact. To this extent, the use of the word fact implies the reality of abstractions. With the majority of writers, also, a fact, or single fact, relates only to an individual thing or individual set of things. Thus, that Brutus killed Cæsar is said to have been a fact; but that all men are mortal is not called a fact, but a collection of facts. By fact is also often meant a true statement, a truth, or truth in general; but this seems to be a mere inexactness of language, and in many passages any attempt to distinguish between the meanings on the supposition that fact means a true statement, and on the supposition that it means the real relation signified by a true statement would be empty subtlety. Fact is often used as correlative to theory, to denote that which is certain or well settled—the phenomena which the theory colligates and harmonizes. Fact, as being special, is sometimes opposed to truth, as being universal; and in such cases there is an implication that facts are minute matters ascertained by research, and often inferior in their importance for the formation of general opinions, or for the general description of phenomena, to other matters which are of familiar experience.
- n. In law, an actual or alleged physical or mental event or existence, as distinguished from a legal effect or consequence: as in the phrases matter of fact, question of fact, the facts of the case, as distinguished from matter of law, question of law, the law of the case. Thus, whether certain words were spoken is a question of fact; whether, if spoken, they constituted a binding promise, is usually a question of law.
- n. archaic Action; the realm of action.
- n. A wrongful or criminal deed.
- n. obsolete Feat.
- n. An honest observation.
- n. Something actual as opposed to invented.
- n. Something which has become real.
- n. Something concrete used as a basis for further interpretation.
- n. An objective consensus on a fundamental reality that has been agreed upon by a substantial number of people.
- n. Information about a particular subject.
- interj. Used before making a statement to introduce it as a trustworthy one.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. obsolete A doing, making, or preparing.
- n. An effect produced or achieved; anything done or that comes to pass; an act; an event; a circumstance.
- n. Reality; actuality; truth.
- n. The assertion or statement of a thing done or existing; sometimes, even when false, improperly put, by a transfer of meaning, for the thing done, or supposed to be done; a thing supposed or asserted to be done.
- n. a concept whose truth can be proved
- n. a piece of information about circumstances that exist or events that have occurred
- n. an event known to have happened or something known to have existed
- n. a statement or assertion of verified information about something that is the case or has happened
- From Latin factum ("a deed, act, exploit; in Medieval Latin also state, condition, circumstance"), neuter of factus ("done or made"), perfect passive participle of faciō ("do, make"). (Wiktionary)
- Latin factum, deed, from neuter past participle of facere, to do; see dhē- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The very fact that he himself is punished for something quite arguable ´bogus´ meaning ´fact´ instead of ´opinion´...is disproportionate, as calling a treatment bogus, can never be seen as a fact it would mean my doctor would give me a litteral bogus if i came for a prescription.”
“And again I believe that it will be led to its result very largely by what is, after all, perhaps the profoundest thought of Kant, the conviction that the most illuminating fact of all is the _fact_ of the absolute and unconditional obligatoriness of the law of right.”
“From this conversation, together with previous ones, held with the same negro, and from after developments made to me at various places, and at different times, extending over a period of six weeks, I became acquainted with the fact -- and I _know_ it to be a _fact_ -- that there exists among the blacks a secret and wide-spread organization of a”
“In a Logic suitably reformed on this basis, it will be fitting to proclaim before all things this truth, and to draw from it all its consequences: the logical fact, _the only logical fact_, is _the concept_, the universal, the spirit that forms, and in so far as it forms, the universal.”
“They will accept the fact that "I-am-as-good-as-you-are" only when I prove it in brain, in brawn, in courtesy, in mental agility, in business acumen, in service -- in a word, _in fact_.”
“The plain fact is, that such identities as these must indicate one of two things: a common tradition, locally modified by circumstances; or a _fact in nature_ or _history_, symbolically expressed in different ways according to the times and modes.”
“Strangely, the most interesting fact (if _fact_ it be) that it builds a floating nest, gains scarcely more than chance notice from its historians.”
“But the way in which such Appearance or fact shaped itself, -- what sort of _fact_ it became for him, -- was and is modified by his own laws of thinking; deep, subtle, but universal, ever-operating laws.”
“We are sorry to differ from your Excellency, but, really, Sir, we cannot consider an acknowledgment of our independence as a subject to be treated about; for while we feel ourselves to be independent in fact, and know ourselves to be so of right, we can see but one cause from whence an acknowledgment of it can flow as an effect, viz. _the existence and truth of the fact_.”
“The truth is an important one; the fact (for it is a _fact_) is a valuable illustration of it.”
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