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  1. interested in, concerned with, or based on what is real or practical: a realistic estimate of costs; a realistic planner.
  2. pertaining to, characterized by, or given to the representation in literature or art of things as they really are: a realistic novel.
  3. resembling or simulating real life: a duck hunter skilled at making realistic decoys.
  4. Philosophy. of or relating to realists or realism.
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Origin of realistic

First recorded in 1855–60; realist + -ic
Related formsre·al·is·ti·cal·ly, adverban·ti·re·al·is·tic, adjectivean·ti·re·al·is·ti·cal·ly, adverbhy·per·re·al·is·tic, adjectivenon·re·al·is·tic, adjectivenon·re·al·is·ti·cal·ly, adverbo·ver·re·al·is·tic, adjectiveo·ver·re·al·is·ti·cal·ly, adverbpro·re·al·is·tic, adjectivepseu·do·re·al·is·tic, adjectivequa·si-re·al·is·tic, adjectivequa·si-re·al·is·ti·cal·ly, adverbsem·i·re·al·is·tic, adjectivesem·i·re·al·is·ti·cal·ly, adverbul·tra·re·al·is·tic, adjectiveun·re·al·is·tic, adjectiveun·re·al·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for realistic

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for unrealistic

impractical, unworkable, improbable, unreal, silly, quixotic, impossible, floating, gone, half-baked, impracticable, nonsensical, romantic, starry-eyed, theoretical, nonrealistic

Examples from the Web for unrealistic

Contemporary Examples of unrealistic

Historical Examples of unrealistic

British Dictionary definitions for unrealistic


  1. not realisticunrealistic expectations
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  1. showing awareness and acceptance of reality
  2. practical or pragmatic rather than ideal or moral
  3. (of a book, film, etc) depicting or emphasizing what is real and actual rather than abstract or ideal
  4. of or relating to philosophical realism
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Derived Formsrealistically, 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 unrealistic


1865, from un- (1) "not" + realistic. Related: Unrealistically.

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"true to reality" (of art, literature, etc.), 1829; "involving a practical view of life" (opposed to idealistic), 1831; from realist + -ic. Related: Realistically.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper