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[uhn-ree-uh l, -reel] /ʌnˈri əl, -ˈril/
not real or actual.
imaginary; fanciful; illusory; delusory; fantastic.
lacking in truth; not genuine; false; artificial:
unreal propaganda serving as news.
Origin of unreal
1595-1605; un-1 + real1
Related forms
unreally, adverb
sham, spurious, fictitious, illusive, theoretical, impractical, vague. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unreal
  • Chimerical is defined as unreal, imaginary, or wildly fanciful.
  • It is instead a memoir of thinly veiled or nonexistent people wandering through a desolate and unreal landscape.
  • Two of the professors admit that their unreal students teeter on an ethical precipice, because the technique could be abused.
  • It was unreal-an entire city had been reduced to rubble.
  • It is as essential to surmount a consciousness of an unreal freedom and to recognise a dependence not perceived by our senses.
  • We are in a process of sorting out the real from the unreal, that is the warring in our members.
  • Let's suppose you actually got a lot of funny, unreal images.
  • It is unreal how relatively smart scientifically-inclined individuals cannot see this difference.
  • It has something unreal for his companion, until he too has substantiated it.
  • And the beauty of nature must always seem unreal and mocking, until the landscape has human figures, that are as good as itself.
British Dictionary definitions for unreal


imaginary or fanciful or seemingly so: an unreal situation
having no actual existence or substance
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

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



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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