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an actual or existing fact; really; genuinely, without exaggeration: The deceased was actually frightened to death.
Not to be confused with:
literally – in a literal manner; word for word: literally translated; actually; without exaggeration or inaccuracy: The platoon was literally wiped out in the explosion.
virtually – for the most part; almost completely; just about: He was virtually scared out of his wits. [Literally, like virtually, is widely used as an intensifier meaning “in effect,” which contradicts the earlier meaning of “actually, without exaggeration.” Virtually is often used to mean “actually” when its definition is “for practical purposes though not in name.”]
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


1. In fact; in reality: That tree is actually a fir, not a pine.
2. Used to express wonder, surprise, or incredulity: I actually won the lottery!
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


a. as an actual fact; really
b. (as sentence modifier): actually, I haven't seen him.
2. at present
3. informal a parenthetic filler used to add slight emphasis: I don't know, actually.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈæk tʃu ə li)

as an actual fact; really.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


You use actually when you want to emphasize that something is true, especially if it is surprising or unexpected.

All the characters in the novel actually existed.
Some people think that Dave is bad-tempered, but he is actually very kind.

You also use actually when you are mentioning something that is very surprising. You put actually in front of the surprising part of what you are saying.

He actually began to cry.
The value of oil has actually been falling in the last two years.

You can use actually if you want to correct what someone says.

'Mr Hooper is a schoolteacher.' – 'A university lecturer, actually.'

If someone suggests something and you want to suggest something different, you can say 'Actually, I'd rather...', or 'Actually, I'd prefer to...'.

'Shall we go out for dinner?' – 'Actually, I'd rather stay in tonight.'

Be Careful!
Don't use actually when you want to say that something is happening now. Use at present, at the moment, or right now.

He's in a meeting at the moment.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.actually - in actual fact; "to be nominally but not actually independent"; "no one actually saw the shark"; "large meteorites actually come from the asteroid belt"
2.actually - used to imply that one would expect the fact to be the opposite of that stated; surprisingly; "you may actually be doing the right thing by walking out"; "she actually spoke Latin"; "they thought they made the rules but in reality they were only puppets"; "people who seem stand-offish are in reality often simply nervous"
3.actually - at the present moment; "the transmission screen shows the picture that is actually on the air"
4.actually - as a sentence modifier to add slight emphasis; "actually, we all help clear up after a meal"; "actually, I haven't seen the film"; "I'm not all that surprised actually"; "she hasn't proved to be too satisfactory, actually"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. really, in fact, indeed, essentially, truly, literally, genuinely, in reality, in truth, in actuality, in point of fact, veritably, as a matter of fact He had actually felt pain several times, but he had ignored it.
2. surprisingly, believe it or not, though it may seem strange It may sound crazy, but it actually works.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


2. In point of fact:
3. At this moment:
Idiom: even now.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
فِي الحَقِيقَهفي الواقِعفِي الوَاقِع، فِي الحَقِيقَة، فِعْلاً
vlastněopravduskutečněve skutečnosti
faktiskfaktiskti virkelighedenvirkelig
oikeastaanitse asiassa
helyzet: a helyzet az
v resnici
faktiskti själva verketverkligenegentligen
thực rathực sự


[ˈæktjʊəlɪ] ADV
1. (= really) → en realidad, realmente
she didn't actually see the accidenten realidad no vio el accidente, no vio el accidente realmente
no one actually dieden realidad no murió nadie
can computers actually create language?¿pueden realmente crear un idioma los ordenadores?
inflation has actually fallenla inflación de hecho ha bajado
I never thought you'd actually do it!¡jamás pensé que lo harías de verdad!
2. (correcting, clarifying) that's not true, actuallybueno, eso no es cierto
actually, I don't know him at allpues la verdad, no lo conozco de nada
actually, you were quite rightpues mira, de hecho tenías razón
"he earns £30,000 a year" - "£30,500, actually"-gana 30.000 libras al año -30.500 libras para ser exactos
actually, I didn't come here just to help youen realidad, no he venido sólo para ayudarte
3. (= exactly) → exactamente
what did he actually say?¿qué es lo que dijo exactamente?
4. (for emphasis) we actually caught a fish!¡incluso or hasta pescamos un pez!
I was so bored I actually fell asleep!¡me aburría tanto que de hecho me quedé dormido!
you only pay for the electricity you actually usesólo pagas la electricidad que consumes
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈæktʃuəli] adv
(indicating or emphasising truth)réellement, vraiment
Did it actually happen? → Est-ce que c'est vraiment arrivé?
(= in fact) → en fait
Actually, I don't know him at all → En fait, je ne le connais pas du tout.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(used as a filler) usually not translated; actually I haven’t started yetich habe noch (gar) nicht damit angefangen; actually we were just talking about youwir haben eben von Ihnen geredet; actually his name is Smither heißt (übrigens) Smith; I’m going too actuallyich gehe (übrigens) auch; actually what we could do is to …(wissen Sie,) wir könnten doch …
(= to tell the truth, in actual fact)eigentlich; (= by the way)übrigens; as you said before, and actually you were quite rightwie Sie schon sagten, und eigentlich hatten Sie völlig recht; actually you were quite right, it was a bad ideaSie hatten übrigens völlig recht, es war eine schlechte Idee; I don’t actually feel like going thereich habe eigentlich keine Lust, da hinzugehen; do you want that/know him? — actually I do/don’tmöchten Sie das/kennen Sie ihn? — ja, durchaus or schon/nein, eigentlich nicht; you don’t want that/know him, do you? — actually I doSie möchten das/kennen ihn (doch) nicht, oder? — doch, eigentlich schon; do you know her? — actually I’m her husbandkennen Sie sie? — ja, ich bin nämlich ihr Mann; I thought I could give you a lift but I won’t actually be goingich dachte, ich könnte Sie mitnehmen, aber ich gehe nun doch nicht; I bet you haven’t done that! — actually I haveSie haben das bestimmt nicht gemacht! — doch; I’m going soon, tomorrow actuallyich gehe bald, nämlich morgen; it won’t be easy, it’ll actually be very difficultes wird nicht leicht, ja es wird sogar sehr schwierig sein
(= truly, in reality: showing surprise) → tatsächlich; if you actually own an apartmentwenn Sie tatsächlich eine Wohnung besitzen; don’t tell me you’re actually going now!sag bloß, du gehst jetzt tatsächlich or wirklich!; oh, you’re actually in/dressed/ready!oh, du bist sogar da/angezogen/fertig!; … but actually I could do it… aber ich konnte es doch; I haven’t actually started/done it/met him yetich habe noch nicht angefangen/es noch nicht gemacht/ihn noch nicht kennengelernt; not actually …, but …zwar nicht …, aber …; I wasn’t actually there, but …ich war zwar selbst nicht dabei, aber …; did he actually say that?hat er das tatsächlich or wirklich gesagt?; what did he actually say?was genau hat er gesagt?, was hat er tatsächlich gesagt?; what do you actually want?was möchten Sie eigentlich?; does that actually exist?gibt es das denn überhaupt or tatsächlich?; as for actually working …was die Arbeit selbst betrifft; as for actually doing itwenn es dann darangeht, es auch zu tun; it’s the first time that I’ve actually seen him/that I’ve actually been home in time for the newsdas ist das erste Mal, dass ich ihn mal gesehen habe/dass ich mal rechtzeitig zu den Nachrichten zu Hause bin
it’s actually taking place this very momentdas findet genau in diesem Augenblick statt; it was actually taking place when he …es fand genau zu der Zeit statt, als er …
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈæktjʊəlɪ] adv (really) → veramente, davvero; (even) → addirittura, perfino
he actually expected us to put him up for the whole holiday → si aspettava sul serio che lo ospitassimo per tutta la vacanza!
that's not true, actually → questo non è affatto vero
I wasn't actually there → a or per dire la verità io non c'ero
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈӕktʃuəl) adjective
real; existing; not imaginary. In actual fact he is not as stupid as you think he is.
ˌactuˈality (-ˈӕ-) noun
(a) reality. the actuality of the situation.
ˈactually adverb
1. really. She actually saw the accident happen.
2. in fact. Actually, I'm doing something else this evening.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


في الواقِع vlastně faktisk tatsächlich πραγματικά en realidad oikeastaan en fait zapravo realmente 実際に 실제로 werkelijk faktisk faktycznie na verdade фактически faktiskt อย่างที่เกิดขึ้นตามจริง aslında thực ra 实际地
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


adv en realidad, realmente
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
In his last letter he actually gave me some particulars of her behaviour at Langford, such as he received from a gentleman who knew her perfectly well, which, if true, must raise abhorrence against her, and which Reginald himself was entirely disposed to credit.
He had been lying on his face beating his pillow with his hands and he actually almost jumped around, he turned so quickly at the sound of the furious little voice.
The professions, the public services, are closed against them; and though in most States they are not actually debarred from marriage, yet they have the greatest difficulty in forming suitable alliances, as experience shews that the offspring of such unfortunate and ill-endowed parents is generally itself unfortunate, if not positively Irregular.
It is also absurd to render property equal, and not to provide for the increasing number of the citizens; but to leave that circumstance uncertain, as if it would regulate itself according to the number of women who [1265b] should happen to be childless, let that be what it would because this seems to take place in other cities; but the case would not be the same in such a state which he proposes and those which now actually unite; for in these no one actually wants, as the property is divided amongst the whole community, be their numbers what they will; but as it could not then be divided, the supernumeraries, whether they were many or few, would have nothing at all.
The servant, however, thought he intended by that to say: 'That is the first thief,' and as he actually was so, he was terrified, and said to his comrade outside: 'The doctor knows all: we shall fare ill, he said I was the first.' The second did not want to go in at all, but was forced.
But shortly after this a Wolf actually did come out from the forest, and began to worry the sheep, and the boy of course cried out "Wolf, Wolf," still louder than before.
The scheme of revising the constitution, in order to correct recent breaches of it, as well as for other purposes, has been actually tried in one of the States.
It ended by my almost believing (perhaps actually believing) that this was perhaps my normal condition.
When I met him afterwards, for the first time for many years, I found to my astonishment that he, who had been a quite tolerably presentable young man, had actually managed by sheer scorn to alter his personal appearance until he had become a sort of walking repudiation of Oxford and all its traditions.
The serious exhibited a certain number of heathen gods and heroes, who were certainly the worst and dullest company into which an audience was ever introduced; and (which was a secret known to few) were actually intended so to be, in order to contrast the comic part of the entertainment, and to display the tricks of harlequin to the better advantage.
And he had actually flushed with vexation, and had said something unpleasant.
Twice I actually hired myself as an under-mate in a Greenland whaler, and acquitted myself to admiration.