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2017 Word of the Year

really

[ree-uh-lee, ree-lee] /ˈri ə li, ˈri li/
adverb
1.
in reality; actually:
to see things as they really are.
2.
genuinely or truly:
a really honest man.
3.
indeed:
Really, this is too much.
interjection
4.
(used to express surprise, exasperation, etc.)
Origin of really
late Middle English
1400-1450
late Middle English word dating back to 1400-50; See origin at real1, -ly
Can be confused
really, re-ally.

re-ally

[ree-uh-lahy] /ˌri əˈlaɪ/
verb (used with or without object), re-allied, re-allying.
1.
to ally again or anew.
Origin
1425-75; late Middle English realy < Middle French real(l)ier; see rally1
Can be confused
really, re-ally.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for really
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But, to relieve your mind, nothing at all has really happened.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • really it's been interesting, the jolliest time of my life, and it's got me all unsettled.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • And really they're the most unemotional and matter-of-fact couple I ever saw.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Could his eyes deceive him, or was this really the man whom he had so grossly injured?

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • They're really one and a half sizes too small, and almost kill me.

British Dictionary definitions for really

really

/ˈrɪəlɪ/
adverb
1.
in reality; in actuality; assuredly: it's really quite harmless
2.
truly; genuinely: really beautiful
interjection
3.
an exclamation of dismay, disapproval, doubt, surprise, etc
4.
not really?, an exclamation of surprise or polite doubt
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 really
adv.

c.1400, originally in reference to the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, from real (adj.) + -ly (2). Sense of "actually" is from early 15c. Purely emphatic use dates from c.1600; interrogative use (oh, really?) is first recorded 1815.

re-ally

v.

"to form an alliance again," c.1600, from re- + ally (v.). Related: Re-allied.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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9
10
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