a corrective confronting of reality, in order to counteract one's expectations, prejudices, or the like.
Origin of reality check
First recorded in 1970–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
an occasion or opportunity to consider a matter realistically or honestly
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
An assessment to determine if one's circumstances or expectations conform to reality, as in Time for a reality check—wasn't this supposed to be a money-making enterprise? [Slang; second half of 1900s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.