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

  • adj. Existing and not merely potential or possible. See Synonyms at real1.
  • adj. Being, existing, or acting at the present moment; current.
  • adj. Based on fact: an actual account of the accident.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Involving or comprising action; active.
  • adj. Existing in act or reality; really acted or acting; in fact; real; -- opposed to potential, possible, virtual, speculative, conceivable, theoretical, or nominal
  • adj. In action at the time being; now exiting; present; as the actual situation of the country.
  • n. Something actually received; real, as distinct from estimated, receipts.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

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").


  • 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

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


  • 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

  • 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.


  • 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

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

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  • 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.

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  • 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

  • England and everyone on the courtroom listened to a speakerphone as Specialist Matthew Wisdom, a guard at Abu Ghraib, told of the night in November of last year when he witnessed what he called the actual abuse, the beatings.

    CNN Transcript Aug 5, 2004


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  • ev'rything is satisfactual!

    March 12, 2011