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real1

[ree-uh l, reel] /ˈri əl, ril/
adjective
1.
true; not merely ostensible, nominal, or apparent:
the real reason for an act.
2.
existing or occurring as fact; actual rather than imaginary, ideal, or fictitious:
a story taken from real life.
3.
being an actual thing; having objective existence; not imaginary:
The events you will see in the film are real and not just made up.
4.
being actually such; not merely so-called:
a real victory.
5.
genuine; not counterfeit, artificial, or imitation; authentic:
a real antique; a real diamond; real silk.
6.
unfeigned or sincere:
real sympathy; a real friend.
7.
Informal. absolute; complete; utter:
She's a real brain.
8.
Philosophy.
  1. existent or pertaining to the existent as opposed to the nonexistent.
  2. actual as opposed to possible or potential.
  3. independent of experience as opposed to phenomenal or apparent.
9.
(of money, income, or the like) measured in purchasing power rather than in nominal value:
Inflation has driven income down in real terms, though nominal income appears to be higher.
10.
Optics. (of an image) formed by the actual convergence of rays, as the image produced in a camera (opposed to virtual).
11.
Mathematics.
  1. of, pertaining to, or having the value of a real number.
  2. using real numbers:
    real analysis; real vector space.
adverb
12.
Informal. very or extremely:
You did a real nice job painting the house.
noun
14.
the real.
  1. something that actually exists, as a particular quantity.
  2. reality in general.
Idioms
15.
for real, Informal.
  1. in reality; actually:
    You mean she dyed her hair green for real?
  2. real; actual:
    The company's plans to relocate are for real.
  3. genuine; sincere:
    I don't believe his friendly attitude is for real.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English < Late Latin reālis, equivalent to Latin re-, variant stem of rēs thing + -ālis -al1
Related forms
realness, noun
Synonyms
1–5. Real, actual, true in general use describe objects, persons, experiences, etc., that are what they are said or purport to be. That which is described as real is genuine as opposed to counterfeit, false, or merely supposed: a real emerald; real leather binding; My real ambition is to be a dentist. Actual usually stresses contrast with another state of affairs that has been proposed or suggested: The actual cost is much less; to conceal one's actual motive. True implies a perfect correspondence with actuality and is in direct contrast to that which is false or inaccurate: a true account of the events; not bravado but true courage. See also authentic.
Usage note
The intensifying adverb real, meaning “very,” is informal and limited to speech or to written representations of speech: He drives a real beat-up old car. The adjective real meaning “true, actual, genuine, etc.,” is standard in all types of speech and writing: Their real reasons for objecting became clear in the discussion. The informal adjective sense “absolute, complete” is also limited to speech or representations of speech: These interruptions are a real bother.

real2

[rey-ahl; Spanish re-ahl] /reɪˈɑl; Spanish rɛˈɑl/
noun, plural reals
[rey-ahlz] /reɪˈɑlz/ (Show IPA).
Spanish, reales
[re-ah-les] /rɛˈɑ lɛs/ (Show IPA)
1.
a former silver coin of Spain and Spanish America, the eighth part of a peso.
Origin
1605-15; < Spanish: royal < Latin rēgālis regal

real3

[rey-ahl; Portuguese re-ahl] /reɪˈɑl; Portuguese rɛˈɑl/
noun
1.
singular of reis.

reis

[reys; Portuguese reys] /reɪs; Portuguese reɪs/
plural noun, singular real
[rey-ahl; Portuguese re-ahl] /reɪˈɑl; Portuguese rɛˈɑl/ (Show IPA)
1.
a former money of account of Portugal and Brazil.
Compare milreis.
Origin
1545-55; < Portuguese, plural of real real2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for real
  • Imaginary traumas are as terrifying as the real thing.
  • According to the conventional thinking, real-world examples such as this one are the best way to teach mathematics.
  • He knows that the world contains not only neurotic misery, but also real, incurable suffering.
  • The comedy is divided into acts and scenes, and the plot has a real organic unity.
  • Any mind that is capable of real sorrow is capable of real good.
  • Concerning the position of monarch and church, there was no real dispute.
  • And considering the real merit of the performance, certainly no rhymes were ever more generously paid for.
  • Indicative more of terror or alarm than of real danger.
  • If junk is all there is, putting up its price will reduce real incomes and make little difference to eating habits and health.
  • But to bring about real change in a real democracy you also have to do real politics.
British Dictionary definitions for real

real1

/ˈrɪəl/
adjective
1.
existing or occurring in the physical world; not imaginary, fictitious, or theoretical; actual
2.
(prenominal) true; actual; not false: the real reason
3.
(prenominal) deserving the name; rightly so called: a real friend, a real woman
4.
not artificial or simulated; genuine: real sympathy, real fur
5.
(of food, etc) traditionally made and having a distinct flavour: real ale, real cheese
6.
(philosophy) existent or relating to actual existence (as opposed to nonexistent, potential, contingent, or apparent)
7.
(prenominal) (economics) (of prices, incomes, wages, etc) considered in terms of purchasing power rather than nominal currency value
8.
(prenominal) denoting or relating to immovable property such as land and tenements: real property Compare personal
9.
(physics) Compare image (sense 2)
10.
(maths) involving or containing real numbers alone; having no imaginary part
11.
(music)
  1. (of the answer in a fugue) preserving the intervals as they appear in the subject
  2. denoting a fugue as having such an answer Compare tonal (sense 3)
12.
(informal) (intensifier): a real fool, a real genius
13.
the real thing, the genuine article, not an inferior or mistaken substitute
noun
14.
short for real number
15.
the real, that which exists in fact; reality
16.
(slang) for real, not as a test or trial; in earnest
Derived Forms
realness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French réel, from Late Latin reālis, from Latin rēs thing

real2

/reɪˈɑːl; Spanish reˈal/
noun (pl) reals, reales (Spanish) (reˈales)
1.
a former small Spanish or Spanish-American silver coin
Word Origin
C17: from Spanish, literally: royal, from Latin rēgālis; see regal1

real3

/Portuguese reˈal/
noun (pl) reis (rəjʃ)
1.
the standard monetary unit of Brazil, divided into 100 centavos
2.
a former coin of Portugal
Word Origin
ultimately from Latin rēgālisregal1
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
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Word Origin and History for real
adj.

early 14c., "actually existing, true;" mid-15c., "relating to things" (especially property), from Old French reel "real, actual," from Late Latin realis "actual," in Medieval Latin "belonging to the thing itself," from Latin res "matter, thing," of uncertain origin. Meaning "genuine" is recorded from 1550s; sense of "unaffected, no-nonsense" is from 1847.

Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand. [Margery Williams, "The Velveteen Rabbit"]
Real estate is first recorded 1660s and retains the oldest English sense of the word. Noun phrase real time is early 19c. as a term in logic and philosophy, 1953 as an adjectival phrase; get real, usually an interjection, was U.S. college slang in 1960s, reached wide popularity c.1987.

n.

"small Spanish silver coin," 1580s, from Spanish real, noun use of real (adj.) "regal," from Latin regalis "regal" (see regal). Especially in reference to the real de plata, which circulated in the U.S. till c.1850 and in Mexico until 1897. The same word was used in Middle English in reference to various coins, from Old French real, cognate of the Spanish word.

The old system of reckoning by shillings and pence is continued by retail dealers generally; and will continue, as long as the Spanish coins remain in circulation. [Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848]
He adds that, due to different exchange rates of metal to paper money in the different states, the Spanish money had varying names from place to place. The Spanish real of one-eighth of a dollar or 12 and a half cents was a ninepence in New England, one shilling in New York, elevenpence or a levy in Pennsylvania, "and in many of the Southern States, a bit." The half-real was in New York a sixpence, in New England a fourpence, in Pennsylvania a fip, in the South a picayune.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for real

real

adverb

Really; truly (1658+)

Related Terms

for real, it's been real


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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real in Technology


1. Not simulated. Often used as a specific antonym to virtual in any of its jargon senses.
2. real number.
[Jargon File]
(1997-03-12)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Idioms and Phrases with real

real

In addition to the idiom beginning with
real
also see:
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for real

monetary unit of Brazil. Each real (plural: reais) is divided into 100 centavos. The Central Bank of Brazil (Banco Central do Brasil) has the exclusive authority to issue banknotes and coins in Brazil. Coins are issued in denominations ranging from 1 centavo to 1 real. Banknotes are valued from 1 to 100 reais. The obverse of each banknote pictures a sculpture symbolizing the republic, with the exception of the 10-real note, which contains an image of Pedro Alvares Cabral, a Portuguese navigator who is considered to have been the first European to explore Brazil; the reverse sides are adorned with images of wildlife, including the crane (5-real note), the arara bird (10-real note), and the leopard (50-real note)

Learn more about real with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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