something that actually exists; reality; truth: Your fears have no basis in fact.
something known to exist or to have happened: Space travel is now a fact.
a truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true: Scientists gather facts about plant growth.
something said to be true or supposed to have happened: The facts given by the witness are highly questionable.
Law.. Often, facts. an actual or alleged event or circumstance, as distinguished from its legal effect or consequence. Compare question of fact, question of law.
after the fact, Law. after the commission of a crime: an accessory after the fact.
before the fact, Law. prior to the commission of a crime: an accessory before the fact.
in fact, actually; really; indeed: In fact, it was a wonder that anyone survived.

1530–40; < Latin factum something done, deed, noun use of neuter of factus done, past participle of facere to do1

factful, adjective

facts, FAQs, fax.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fact (fækt)
1.  an event or thing known to have happened or existed
2.  a truth verifiable from experience or observation
3.  a piece of information: get me all the facts of this case
4.  (often plural) law an actual event, happening, etc, as distinguished from its legal consequences. Questions of fact are decided by the jury, questions of law by the court or judge
5.  philosophy a proposition that may be either true or false, as contrasted with an evaluative statement
6.  criminal law after the fact after the commission of the offence: an accessory after the fact
7.  criminal law before the fact before the commission of the offence
8.  as a matter of fact, in fact, in point of fact in reality or actuality
9.  fact of life an inescapable truth, esp an unpleasant one
10.  the fact of the matter the truth
[C16: from Latin factum something done, from factus made, from facere to make]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1530s, "action," especially "evil deed," from L. factum "event, occurrence," lit. "thing done," from neut. pp. of facere "to do" (see factitious). Usual modern sense of "thing known to be true" appeared 1630s, from notion of "something that has actually occurred." Facts
of life "harsh realities" is from 1854; specific sense of "human sexual functions" first recorded 1913.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

in fact

Also, in point of fact. In reality, in truth; actually. For example, She was, in fact, eager to join the club, or In point of fact, his parents never had much influence on him. The first term dates from about 1700, and the variant from about 1800.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Novella lets homeless people harvest from the garden--in fact, it makes her
  feel good.
In fact, many commercially produced tobacco plants are resistant to the virus.
Worldwide popularity is in fact the sole downside of operating an icon.
In fact it rarely shows up in my garden, though the forest beyond my back fence
  is full of them.
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