from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Existing in reality and not potential, possible, simulated, or false: synonym: real.
  • adjective Based on fact.
  • adjective Conforming to the characteristics of a group or type; typical.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Active; practical.
  • In full existence; real; denoting that which not merely can be, but is: opposed to potential, apparent, constructive, and imaginary.
  • Now existing; present: opposed to past and future: as, in the actual condition of affairs.
  • An individual as containing in it species, or a species as containing in it genera; a metaphysical or formal whole. So actual parts.
  • Synonyms Actual, Positive, etc. (see real), veritable, genuine, certain, absolute.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Finance), Cant Something actually received; real, as distinct from estimated, receipts.
  • adjective obsolete Involving or comprising action; active.
  • adjective Existing in act or reality; really acted or acting; in fact; real; -- opposed to potential, possible, virtual, speculative, conceivable, theoretical, or nominal
  • adjective In action at the time being; now exiting; present; as the actual situation of the country.
  • adjective See under Cautery.
  • adjective (Theol.) that kind of sin which is done by ourselves in contradistinction to “original sin.”

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Existing in act or reality, not just potentially; really acted or acting; occurring in fact
  • adjective Factual, real, not just apparent or even false
  • adjective In action at the time being; now existing.
  • adjective obsolete Active, not passive
  • adjective Used to emphasise a noun or verb, whether something is real or metaphorical.
  • noun An actual, real one; notably:

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

  • adjective existing in act or fact
  • adjective being or reflecting the essential or genuine character of something
  • adjective taking place in reality; not pretended or imitated
  • adjective presently existing in fact and not merely potential or possible
  • adjective being or existing at the present moment


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

[Middle English, from Old French, active, from Late Latin āctuālis, from Latin āctus, past participle of agere, to drive, do; see ag- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English actual, actuel ("active"), from Old French actuel, actual, from Late Latin actualis ("active, practical"), from Latin actus ("act, action, performance"),, from agere ("to do; to act") + -alis ("-al").


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  • We have the total waste of $225,496,741 and this, reduced to its actual significance, means that of the total actual terminations, 83.6 per cent. was _actual waste_ and only 16.4 per cent. legitimate terminations, while the great bulk of the last item of

    Frenzied Finance Vol. 1: The Crime of Amalgamated Thomas William Lawson 1891

  • Uses HTML:: Parser which is tolerant of unbalanced tags, so the actual may have unbalanced tags which will assert_html_matches ($expected, $actual, $message)

    TWiki.Codev 2009

  • affairs; a military limited in size and scope to actual protection of U.S. territory and its population; tight rein on foreign military alliances; no participation in major conflicts without an *actual*

    Coyote Blog » Blog Archive » Inauguration Day Party Pooper 2009

  • For Lewis, ˜actual™ is an indexical term: when I speak of the actual world, I refer to the world of which I am an inhabitant ” and so for any speaker who is “in” (who is a part of) any world.

    Metaphysics van Inwagen, Peter 2007

  • Assistant U.S. Solicitor General Eric Feigin countered that, based on the context and history of the legislation, the phrase "actual damages" covers only out-of-pocket expenses. News 2011

  • In the term actual grace, actual does not mean "real" or "factual," but Catholicism 2009

  • In the term actual grace, actual does not mean "real" or "factual," but Catholicism 2009

  • The term actual term 'weblog' was coined by Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997 but the term

    Search Engine War 2008

  • The distinction is well made by Griffin 1985 p. 185 between what he calls the actual world of real causal efficacy and the world as it appears to our sensory perception, especially vision.

    The ecological model of the universe Tusar N Mohapatra 2006

  • And the defense secretary retraced what he called the actual history of how the U.S. got involved in Iraq

    CNN Transcript Nov 15, 2005 2005


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  • ev'rything is satisfactual!

    March 12, 2011