really

[ree-uh-lee, ree-lee]

adverb

in reality; actually: to see things as they really are.
genuinely or truly: a really honest man.
indeed: Really, this is too much.

interjection

(used to express surprise, exasperation, etc.)

Origin of really

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at real1, -ly
Can be confusedreally re-ally

re-ally

[ree-uh-lahy]

verb (used with or without object), re-al·lied, re-al·ly·ing.

to ally again or anew.

Origin of re-ally

1425–75; late Middle English realy < Middle French real(l)ier; see rally1
Can be confusedreally re-ally
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for really

Contemporary Examples of really

Historical Examples of really

  • But, to relieve your mind, nothing at all has really happened.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Really it's been interesting, the jolliest time of my life, and it's got me all unsettled.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • And really they're the most unemotional and matter-of-fact couple I ever saw.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • They're really one and a half sizes too small, and almost kill me.

  • Could his eyes deceive him, or was this really the man whom he had so grossly injured?

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger


British Dictionary definitions for really

really

adverb

in reality; in actuality; assuredlyit's really quite harmless
truly; genuinelyreally beautiful

interjection

an exclamation of dismay, disapproval, doubt, surprise, etc
not really? an exclamation of surprise or polite doubt

xref

See very
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 really
adv.

c.1400, originally in reference to the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, from real (adj.) + -ly (2). Sense of "actually" is from early 15c. Purely emphatic use dates from c.1600; interrogative use (oh, really?) is first recorded 1815.

re-ally

v.

"to form an alliance again," c.1600, from re- + ally (v.). Related: Re-allied.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper