[ ree-uh l, reel ]
/ ˈri əl, ril /
true; not merely ostensible, nominal, or apparent: the real reason for an act.
existing or occurring as fact; actual rather than imaginary, ideal, or fictitious: a story taken from real life.
being an actual thing; having objective existence; not imaginary: The events you will see in the film are real and not just made up.
being actually such; not merely so-called: a real victory.
genuine; not counterfeit, artificial, or imitation; authentic: a real antique; a real diamond; real silk.
unfeigned or sincere: real sympathy; a real friend.
Informal. absolute; complete; utter: She's a real brain.
- existent or pertaining to the existent as opposed to the nonexistent.
- actual as opposed to possible or potential.
- independent of experience as opposed to phenomenal or apparent.
(of money, income, or the like) measured in purchasing power rather than in nominal value: Inflation has driven income down in real terms, though nominal income appears to be higher.
Optics. (of an image) formed by the actual convergence of rays, as the image produced in a camera (opposed to virtual).
- of, relating to, or having the value of a real number.
- using real numbers: real analysis; real vector space.
Informal. very or extremely: You did a real nice job painting the house.
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Idioms for real
- in reality; actually: You mean she dyed her hair green for real?
- real; actual: The company's plans to relocate are for real.
- genuine; sincere: I don't believe his friendly attitude is for real.
for real, Informal.
Origin of real1
1400–50; late Middle English < Late Latin reālis, equivalent to Latin re-, variant stem of rēs thing + -ālis -al1
synonym study for real
1–5. Real, actual, true in general use describe objects, persons, experiences, etc., that are what they are said or purport to be. That which is described as real is genuine as opposed to counterfeit, false, or merely supposed: a real emerald; real leather binding; My real ambition is to be a dentist. Actual usually stresses contrast with another state of affairs that has been proposed or suggested: The actual cost is much less; to conceal one's actual motive. True implies a perfect correspondence with actuality and is in direct contrast to that which is false or inaccurate: a true account of the events; not bravado but true courage. See also authentic.
usage note for real
The intensifying adverb real, meaning “very,” is informal and limited to speech or to written representations of speech: He drives a real beat-up old car. The adjective real meaning “true, actual, genuine, etc.,” is standard in all types of speech and writing: Their real reasons for objecting became clear in the discussion. The informal adjective sense “absolute, complete” is also limited to speech or representations of speech: These interruptions are a real bother.
OTHER WORDS FROM realre·al·ness, noun
Words nearby real
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for for real (1 of 3)
/ (ˈrɪəl) /
existing or occurring in the physical world; not imaginary, fictitious, or theoretical; actual
(prenominal) true; actual; not falsethe real reason
(prenominal) deserving the name; rightly so calleda real friend; a real woman
not artificial or simulated; genuinereal sympathy; real fur
(of food, etc) traditionally made and having a distinct flavourreal ale; real cheese
philosophy existent or relating to actual existence (as opposed to nonexistent, potential, contingent, or apparent)
(prenominal) economics (of prices, incomes, wages, etc) considered in terms of purchasing power rather than nominal currency value
(prenominal) denoting or relating to immovable property such as land and tenementsreal property Compare personal
physics Compare image (def. 2)
maths involving or containing real numbers alone; having no imaginary part
- (of the answer in a fugue) preserving the intervals as they appear in the subject
- denoting a fugue as having such an answerCompare tonal (def. 3)
informal (intensifier)a real fool; a real genius
the real thing the genuine article, not an inferior or mistaken substitute
short for real number
the real that which exists in fact; reality
for real slang not as a test or trial; in earnest
Derived forms of realrealness, noun
Word Origin for real
C15: from Old French réel, from Late Latin reālis, from Latin rēs thing
British Dictionary definitions for for real (2 of 3)
/ (reɪˈɑːl, Spanish reˈal) /
noun plural reals or reales (Spanish reˈales)
a former small Spanish or Spanish-American silver coin
Word Origin for real
C17: from Spanish, literally: royal, from Latin rēgālis; see regal 1
British Dictionary definitions for for real (3 of 3)
/ (Portuguese reˈal) /
noun plural reis (rəjʃ)
the standard monetary unit of Brazil, divided into 100 centavos
a former coin of Portugal
Word Origin for real
ultimately from Latin rēgālis regal 1
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
Idioms and Phrases with for real (1 of 2)
Actually so, genuine, as in Are your plans to move away for real? [Slang; mid-1900s]
Idioms and Phrases with for real (2 of 2)
In addition to the idiom beginning with real
- real McCoy, the
- for real
- get real
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.