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real world

[ree-uh l, reel] /ˈri əl, ril/
the realm of practical or actual experience, as opposed to the abstract, theoretical, or idealized sphere of the classroom, laboratory, etc.:
recent college graduates looking for jobs in the real world of rising unemployment.
Origin of real world
Related forms
real-world, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for real world
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She had only felt things which had nothing to do with the real world.

    Robin Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Yes; I know why the real world has ever seemed to me so false and cold.

    Zanoni Edward Bulwer Lytton
  • His energy is too often deflected toward fictitious goals located outside of the real world.

    Psychoanalysis Andr Tridon
  • But it is an ocean utterly different from what we have in the real world.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • Then for a long while the vague waters, then for a long while a little vague land or spirit-of-planet before a real world.

    Crowds Gerald Stanley Lee
real world in Technology

1. Those institutions at which "programming" may be used in the same sentence as "Fortran", "COBOL", "RPG", "IBM", "DBASE", etc. Places where programs do such commercially necessary but intellectually uninspiring things as generating payroll checks and invoices.
2. The location of non-programmers and activities not related to programming.
3. A bizarre dimension in which the standard dress is shirt and tie and in which a person's working hours are defined as 9 to 5 (see code grinder).
4. Anywhere outside a university. "Poor fellow, he's left MIT and gone into the Real World." Used pejoratively by those not in residence there. In conversation, talking of someone who has entered the Real World is not unlike speaking of a deceased person. It is also noteworthy that on the campus of Cambridge University in England, there is a gaily-painted lamp-post which bears the label "REALITY CHECKPOINT". It marks the boundary between university and the Real World; check your notions of reality before passing. This joke is funnier because the Cambridge "campus" is actually coextensive with the centre of Cambridge.
See also fear and loathing, mundane, uninteresting.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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