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[ak-choo-uh-lee] /ˈæk tʃu ə li/
as an actual or existing fact; really.
Origin of actually
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English; see actual, -ly Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for actually
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There is such an uneasiness in Paris, that we have actually a run of confidence upon us!

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • Do you know, Jim, he actually believes that you are not building the dam for the farmers!

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • Some of them were actually ill, or had at home a sick husband or a sick daughter.

    The Golden House Charles Dudley Warner
  • He actually was to turn his work over to another man to finish.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • And so it has actually proved to be the case with these very Commissioners.

British Dictionary definitions for actually


  1. as an actual fact; really
  2. (as sentence modifier): actually, I haven't seen him
at present
(informal) a parenthetic filler used to add slight emphasis: I don't know, actually
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for actually

early 15c., "in fact, in reality" (as opposed to in possibility), from actual + -ly (2). Meaning "actively, vigorously" is from mid-15c.; that of "at this time, at present" is from 1660s. As an intensive added to a statement and suggesting "as a matter of fact, really, in truth" it is attested from 1762.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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