as an actual or existing fact; really.

Nearby words

  1. actualism,
  2. actuality,
  3. actualité,
  4. actualization,
  5. actualize,
  6. actuals,
  7. actuarial,
  8. actuary,
  9. actuate,
  10. actuator

Origin of actually

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at actual, -ly Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for actually

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 emphasisI 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

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