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Denotation vs. Connotation

unreal

[uhn-ree-uh l, -reel] /ʌnˈri əl, -ˈril/
adjective
1.
not real or actual.
2.
imaginary; fanciful; illusory; delusory; fantastic.
3.
lacking in truth; not genuine; false; artificial:
unreal propaganda serving as news.
Origin of unreal
1595-1605
1595-1605; un-1 + real1
Related forms
unreally, adverb
Synonyms
sham, spurious, fictitious, illusive, theoretical, impractical, vague.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unreal
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What a curious and attractive, yet also what an unreal, fascination the term "highway" connotes!

    Dead Souls Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol
  • The garden lay before her, unreal in the beauty of moonlight.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • The flat, ominous silence that followed was unreal and oppressive.

    'Firebrand' Trevison Charles Alden Seltzer
  • Pale and unreal in the moonlight, the river floated them away.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • She lifted her eyes to the wall of mountains now mystical and unreal under their mantle of blue shadow.

British Dictionary definitions for unreal

unreal

/ʌnˈrɪəl/
adjective
1.
imaginary or fanciful or seemingly so: an unreal situation
2.
having no actual existence or substance
3.
insincere or artificial
Derived Forms
unreally, 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
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Word Origin and History for unreal
adj.

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
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Slang definitions & phrases for unreal

unmentionables

noun

Underwear; undergarments: required to don upper and lower unmentionables (1910+)

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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6
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