[ uhn-ree-uhl, -reel ]
/ ʌnˈri əl, -ˈril /


not real or actual.
imaginary; fanciful; illusory; delusory; fantastic.
lacking in truth; not genuine; false; artificial: unreal propaganda serving as news.

Origin of unreal

First recorded in 1595–1605; un-1 + real1
Related formsun·re·al·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unreal

British Dictionary definitions for unreal


/ (ʌnˈrɪəl) /


imaginary or fanciful or seemingly soan unreal situation
having no actual existence or substance
insincere or artificial
Derived Formsunreally, adverb
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 unreal



c.1600, "not real," from un- (1) "not" + real (adj.). Slang sense of "wonderful, great" is first recorded 1965.

Hence horrible shadow, Vnreall mock'ry hence. ["Macbeth," III.iv.107]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper