Definitions

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

  • n. The quality or state of being unreal.
  • n. Something unreal, insubstantial, or imaginary.
  • n. A lack of ability to deal with reality.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Lack of reality or real existence.
  • n. The state of being unreal
  • n. That which has no reality or real existence; something unreal or imaginary
  • n. Unpractical character; visionariness.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality or state of being unreal; want of reality.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Lack of reality or real existence.
  • n. That which has no reality or real existence.
  • n. Unpractical character; visionariness.

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

  • n. the state of being insubstantial or imaginary; not existing objectively or in fact
  • n. the quality possessed by something that is unreal

Etymologies

From un- (“lack of, not”) +‎ reality. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I mean how grounded in unreality (or how fickle) are these people?

    Vote now! Wine Person of the Decade [the Naughties] | Dr Vino's wine blog

  • And particularly as a writer of the supernatural, I depend on those dream images to give a certain unreality to real-life situations – and to give a certain inevitability to my unreal situations.

    What dreams may come

  • Therefore of course Zoskie lives in unreality given that Raevmo has such a tight grip on his version.

    Carry-Over Thread

  • This unreality is boosted by: (1) the plethora of television “reality” shows that suggest that success has little to do with anything but ambition, desire, and immorality; (2) educational institutions that punish those teachers who actually assess student performance realistically and who insist on results; (3) the increasing reliance on tests that measure assorted facts and basic intelligence, but not the ability to think and learn; and (4) greater and greater reliance on pleasing parents and students than upon imparting skills and the ability to think.

    The Age of Unreality « L.E. Modesitt, Jr. – The Official Website

  • It is apparent that William Dudley and Ben Bernanke have succumbed to a common affliction among economists known as "unreality syndrome."

    For Americans Who Eat or Drive, Inflation Is a Reality

  • In Washington, I'm not sure we have virtual reality, I think what we have up here is virtual unreality, which is a bad thing because it enables you to almost dehumanize problems and turn them into words and rhetoric and labels.

    President On Economic Plan Passage Anniversary

  • I was in no mood for sleep by then, and the fatigue I had felt after I restored him to life had been sponged away by a sensation I am not tempted to call unreality -- the exultation of knowing that my being no longer resided in the marionette of flesh people were accustomed to call _Severian_, but in a distant star shining with energy enough to bring ten thousand worlds to flower.

    The Urth of the New Sun

  • Since memory is the basis of certainty, of the feeling of reality, these unfortunates are afflicted with an uncertainty, a sense of unreality, that is almost agonizing.

    The Foundations of Personality

  • Arthur was joking, and together with it came a curiously dismal sense of unreality, that is well known to all those who have passed through any great strain or emotional crisis, as if, suddenly, the soul had fallen out of everything, and they were nothing but lifeless empty husks, hollow and phantasmal.

    Memoirs of Arthur Hamilton, B. A. Of Trinity College, Cambridge Extracted From His Letters And Diaries, With Reminiscences Of His Conversation By His Friend Christopher Carr Of The Same College

  • A recurring charge was that it was politically and morally irresponsible, at the very least, to speak of the "unreality" of modern war, because to do so was to ignore the realities of killing and suffering.

    Jean Baudrillard's death did not take place

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