[ ak-choo-uhl ]
/ ˈæk tʃu əl /
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See synonyms for: actual / actualness on Thesaurus.com


existing in act or fact; real: an actual case of heroism; actual expenses.
existing now; present; current: The ship's actual position is 22 miles due east of Miami.
Obsolete. pertaining to or involving acts or action.



Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of actual

1275–1325; <Late Latin āctuālis, equivalent to Latin āctu- (stem of action noun āctus;see act) + -ālis-al1; replacing Middle English actuel<Middle French <Latin

synonym study for actual

1. See real1.


ac·tu·al·ness, nounnon·ac·tu·al, adjectivenon·ac·tu·al·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for actual

British Dictionary definitions for actual

/ (ˈæktʃʊəl) /


existing in reality or as a matter of fact
real or genuine
existing at the present time; current
(usually preceded by your) British informal, often facetious (intensifier)that music's by your actual Mozart, isn't it?
See also actuals

Word Origin for actual

C14: actuel existing, from Late Latin āctuālis relating to acts, practical, from Latin āctus act

usage for actual

The excessive use of actual and actually should be avoided. They are unnecessary in sentences such as in actual fact, he is forty-two, and he did actually go to the play but did not enjoy it
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