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Avoid these words. Seriously.


[ak-choo-uh-lee] /ˈæk tʃu ə li/
as an actual or existing fact; really.
Origin of actually
late Middle English
late Middle English word dating back to 1400-50; See origin at actual, -ly Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for actually
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To the disgust of the latter, Robert actually had the presumption to walk home with Hester.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • He has the soul of a merchant tailor, actually, but not the tailor's manhood.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • In some countries it actually took the place of the old tribal dialect.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • The picture is almost comic in its incongruity with what actually is.

  • They all laughed, not boisterously, actually an appreciative laugh.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
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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