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[ree-al-i-tee] /riˈæl ɪ ti/
noun, plural realities for 3, 5–7.
the state or quality of being real.
resemblance to what is real.
a real thing or fact.
real things, facts, or events taken as a whole; state of affairs:
the reality of the business world; vacationing to escape reality.
  1. something that exists independently of ideas concerning it.
  2. something that exists independently of all other things and from which all other things derive.
something that is real.
something that constitutes a real or actual thing, as distinguished from something that is merely apparent.
noting or pertaining to a TV program or film that portrays nonactors interacting or competing with each other in real but contrived situations, allegedly without a script:
a popular reality show; reality TV.
in reality, in fact or truth; actually:
brave in appearance, but in reality a coward.
Origin of reality
From the Medieval Latin word reālitās, dating back to 1540-50. See real1, -ity
Related forms
antireality, adjective
nonreality, noun, plural nonrealities.
proreality, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for reality
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The fable is fanciful and pleasing in itself; but will it not hereafter be believed as reality?

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • They all admired and respected her, and nobody doubted the reality of her adventures.

  • Yet when we do make them come true, we find the vision sweeter than the reality.

    Ballads of a Bohemian Robert W. Service
  • The object so meritorious, who can doubt the reality of his professions?

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Now Vavasor was in reality not a little disgusted at what he beheld.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
British Dictionary definitions for reality


noun (pl) -ties
the state of things as they are or appear to be, rather than as one might wish them to be
something that is real
the state of being real
  1. that which exists, independent of human awareness
  2. the totality of facts as they are independent of human awareness of them See also conceptualism Compare appearance (sense 6)
in reality, actually; in fact
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 reality

1540s, "quality of being real," from French réalité and directly Medieval Latin realitatem (nominative realitas), from Late Latin realis (see real (adj.)). Meaning "real existence, all that is real" is from 1640s; that of "the real state (of something)" is from 1680s. Sometimes 17c.-18c. also meaning "sincerity." Reality-based attested from 1960. Reality television from 1991.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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reality in Medicine

reality re·al·i·ty (rē-āl'ĭ-tē)

  1. The quality or state of being actual or true.

  2. The totality of all things possessing actuality, existence, or essence.

  3. That which exists objectively and in fact.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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