follow Dictionary.com

Dictionary.com's Word of the Year is...

actual

[ak-choo-uh l] /ˈæk tʃu əl/
adjective
1.
existing in act or fact; real:
an actual case of heroism; actual expenses.
2.
existing now; present; current:
The ship's actual position is 22 miles due east of Miami.
3.
Obsolete. pertaining to or involving acts or action.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; < Late Latin āctuālis, equivalent to Latin āctu- (stem of action noun āctus; see act) + -ālis -al1; replacing Middle English actuel < Middle French < Latin
Related forms
actualness, noun
nonactual, adjective
nonactualness, noun
Synonyms
1. genuine, authentic, veritable. See real1 .
Antonyms
1. unreal, fictional.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for actual
  • Try to find an actual travel brochure of the area and compare your brochure to the real one.
  • The point of graduate school, for the actual graduate students themselves, is preparation for a career.
  • Although this theory has been widely accepted, finding an actual shock breakout was due to extreme serendipity.
  • That's right, there's more time on replays than on the actual plays.
  • So it's surprising to see these and then think someone cuts them into actual diamonds.
  • After that, the actual processing of the tea turned out to be pretty simple.
  • Since these are actual power chords, you'll be learning to play the guitar.
  • It's a common mistake for a proposal writer to fall into writing the actual dissertation in the process of laying it out.
  • Ya know, a friend told me once that placebos are often almost as effective as the actual drug in medical studies.
  • It's also the first step toward actual photographs of planets outside our solar system.
British Dictionary definitions for actual

actual

/ˈæktʃʊəl/
adjective
1.
existing in reality or as a matter of fact
2.
real or genuine
3.
existing at the present time; current
4.
(usually preceded by your) (Brit, informal, often facetious) (intensifier): that music's by your actual Mozart, isn't it?
See also actuals
Usage note
The excessive use of actual and actually should be avoided. They are unnecessary in sentences such as in actual fact, he is forty-two, and he did actually go to the play but did not enjoy it
Word Origin
C14: actuel existing, from Late Latin āctuālis relating to acts, practical, from Latin āctusact
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for actual
adj.

early 14c., "pertaining to an action," from Old French actuel "now existing, up to date" (13c.), from Late Latin actualis "active, pertaining to action," adjectival form of Latin actus (see act (n.)). The broader sense of "real, existing" (as opposed to potential, ideal, etc.) is from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for actual

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for actual

8
11
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with actual

Nearby words for actual