Definition of reality in English:

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Pronunciation: /rēˈalədē/

noun (plural realities)

1The world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them: he refuses to face reality Laura was losing touch with reality
More example sentences
  • You see, a long time ago, some academic came up with the idea that reality doesn't actually exist.
  • It has kept all of us in touch with reality as it exists in Tokyo and Japan along with a better understanding of what Tokyo and Japan are all about.
  • Recognition and acceptance of truth and reality replaces false ideas.
the real world, real life, actuality;
physical existence
1.1A thing that is actually experienced or seen, especially when this is grim or problematic: the harsh realities of life in a farming community the law ignores the reality of the situation
More example sentences
  • But when image is your concern, the unpleasant realities of war present big problems.
  • It wants to make sure it cannot actually focus on the realities of family life.
  • Some of these children have their own first-hand experience of the realities of war.
1.2A thing that exists in fact, having previously only existed in one’s mind: the paperless office may yet become a reality
More example sentences
  • But a York research team is at the forefront of a project which aims to make this previously far-fetched dream a reality.
  • You guys have turned an old man's dream into a reality; in fact, you've made history.
  • You strive to make the ideal in your mind become a reality on the canvas of Time.
1.3The quality of being lifelike or resembling an original: the reality of Marryat’s detail
More example sentences
  • Harsh reality is created with striking clarity throughout the collection, leaving the reader both awed and dismayed.
  • He loved acting and the people that were in it and that could produce and create moments of great reality.
  • Only when films regain the sparks of creativity, originality and reality, will we see crowds in cinema halls again.
verisimilitude, authenticity, realism, fidelity, faithfulness
1.4 [as modifier] Relating to reality TV: a reality show
More example sentences
  • The irony is that a reality television programme made headlines for becoming just a little too real, a little too authentic.
  • But it is this producer who takes the programme beyond the usual reality television dross.
  • Would you watch a reality television show based around a celebrity footballer?
2The state or quality of having existence or substance: youth, when death has no reality
More example sentences
  • However what will be decisive will be the substance and reality of the language creating the offence rather than its form.
  • It purifies our thoughts that we might know that God is the Source and Substance of all reality.
  • In those cases the House in effect decided that the substance or reality of the composite transactions was to be considered free of any artificial steps.
2.1 Philosophy Existence that is absolute, self-sufficient, or objective, and not subject to human decisions or conventions.
Example sentences
  • We accept a parallel subordination of subjective appearance to objective reality in other areas.
  • No, I'm saying there is no ultimate reality, no objective existence, no ontology at all.
  • It is again the same end effect, but the perspective is fundamentally different as it is based upon a subjective rather than objective reality.



in reality

In actual fact (used to contrast a false idea of what is true or possible with one that is more accurate): she had believed she could control these feelings, but in reality that was not so easy
More example sentences
  • In fact, in reality, the cottage's location turned out to be even better than that!
  • He may be amused by the idea but in reality it would never suit a man with such unabashed ambition.
  • While this might appear to be a dispute about a material fact, in reality it is not.

the reality is ——

Used to assert that the truth of a matter is not what one would think or expect: the popular view of the Dobermann is of an aggressive guard dog—the reality is very different
More example sentences
  • Some people expect it to be dynamic and aggressive but the reality is that it's slow.
  • It does not matter when it was; the reality is that that was what was in place.
  • Three and a half years after the promises, the reality is that one in nine people now work more than 60 hours every week.


Late 15th century: via French from medieval Latin realitas, from late Latin realis 'relating to things' (see real1).

Words that rhyme with reality

banality, duality, fatality, finality, ideality, legality, locality, modality, morality, natality, orality, regality, rurality, tonality, totality, venality, vitality, vocality

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: re·al·i·ty

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