noun, plural re·al·i·ties for 3, 5–7.
  1. the state or quality of being real.
  2. resemblance to what is real.
  3. a real thing or fact.
  4. real things, facts, or events taken as a whole; state of affairs: the reality of the business world; vacationing to escape reality.
  5. Philosophy.
    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.
  6. something that is real.
  7. something that constitutes a real or actual thing, as distinguished from something that is merely apparent.
  1. 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.
  1. 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 formsan·ti·re·al·i·ty, adjectivenon·re·al·i·ty, noun, plural non·re·al·i··re·al·i·ty, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for non-reality

Historical Examples of non-reality

  • I have never yet seen one who straightway achieved the vision of non-Reality.

    Zen Buddhism

    Arthur Waley

  • No two human beings think alike; hence there may be conflicting opinions as to the reality or non-reality of this present world.

  • And, further, it seems exceedingly difficult to understand in what way a non-reality can be present to the mind at all.

    The Problem of Truth

    H. Wildon Carr

  • The dispute as to the reality or non-reality of thought which separates itself, "the praxis," is a purely scholastic question.

British Dictionary definitions for non-reality


noun plural -ties
  1. the state of things as they are or appear to be, rather than as one might wish them to be
  2. something that is real
  3. the state of being real
  4. philosophy
    1. that which exists, independent of human awareness
    2. the totality of facts as they are independent of human awareness of themSee also conceptualism Compare appearance (def. 6)
  5. 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

Word Origin and History for non-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

non-reality in Medicine


  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.