Definition of fact in English:

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Pronunciation: /fakt/


1A thing that is indisputably the case: she lacks political experience—a fact that becomes clear when she appears in public a body of fact
More example sentences
  • So go and see it with your own eyes and discover for yourself if it is an historical fact.
  • It is a sad fact that when a litter of pigs is born, it is quite normal to have one or two born dead.
  • It is a fact that most of those who are on the street have an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
1.1 (the fact that) Used in discussing the significance of something that is the case: the real problem facing them is the fact that their funds are being cut
More example sentences
  • The judge did not refer the jury to the fact that a mistaken witness can be a convincing one.
  • It's not the fact that to get to the crew room I have to go up two flights of stairs and down three.
  • We want Kirklees Council to respect the fact that most of us want to stay on the estate.
1.2 (usually facts) A piece of information used as evidence or as part of a report or news article.
Example sentences
  • The primary facts thus are the evidence of the ceremony that is valid according to local law.
  • In all cases, we have to distill the facts from the various reports and documents.
  • Who knows what the true facts of this case are but there is certainly more to it than meets the eye.
detail, piece of information, particular, item, specific, element, point, factor, feature, characteristic, ingredient, circumstance, aspect, facet;
(facts) information
1.3chiefly Law The truth about events as opposed to interpretation: there was a question of fact as to whether they had received the letter
More example sentences
  • The Ombudsman is the sole judge of fact and he can only be corrected on errors of law.
  • We would then have an opportunity for questions on a point of fact or a clarification.
  • If the comment amounts to a statement of fact then it must be proved to be true or privileged.



before (or after) the fact

Before (or after) the committing of a crime: an accessory before the fact
More example sentences
  • The more open they are, the less likely they are to wind up indicted for crimes after the fact.
  • All those, although very crucial to crime prevention, are before the fact.
  • Yet when doing so they always sought congressional authority, even if after the fact.

a fact of life

Something that must be accepted as true and unchanging, even if it is unpleasant: it is a fact of life that young girls write horrible things about people in their diaries
More example sentences
  • The family cat, Snowbell, has started accepting Stuart as a fact of life and part of the family.
  • Some feel there is neither rhyme nor reason as to this regular occurrence but we have to accept it as a fact of life.
  • Downward mobility was and seems to have been accepted as an irreducible fact of life.

facts and figures

Precise details.
Example sentences
  • The Disability Rights Commission doesn't have detailed facts and figures.
  • And people can request facts and figures on current issues as well as from local authority files dating back hundreds of years.
  • Armchair analysts and cricket pundits are catching upon game statistics to reel off facts and figures in an instant.

the facts of life

Information about sexual functions and practices, especially as given to children.
Example sentences
  • They were left to play in blissful ignorance until such a time, as they were old enough to understand the sexual facts of life.
  • They need basic facts of life, and information about health and contraception.
  • I know it is easy enough to find out the facts of life by yourself but I do believe that a place like a school can and should help on the subject.

the fact of the matter

The truth.
Example sentences
  • That's not a criticism, that's a description of what I think is the fact of the matter.
  • I think that the fact of the matter is there are plenty of women who are interested in helping other women come up through the ranks.
  • And the fact of the matter is, is we are busy responding to the last threat, which is the terrorist threat.

in (point of) fact

Used to emphasize the truth of an assertion, especially one contrary to what might be expected or what has been asserted: Aunt Madeline isn’t in fact an aunt but a more distant relative
More example sentences
  • It is in fact the truth: she's told the story so many times she now thinks she made it up.
  • Whether she was in fact telling the truth is of course an entirely different matter.
  • I looked down at the hand of his I could see and realized he was in fact telling the truth.


Late 15th century: from Latin factum, neuter past participle of facere 'do'. The original sense was 'an act or feat,' later 'bad deed, a crime,' surviving in the phrase before (or after) the fact. The earliest of the current senses ( 'truth, reality') dates from the late 16th century.

  • factory from late 16th century:

    The first factories were far from any urban area, in India and southeast Asia. A factory in the late 16th century was a trading company's foreign base or station. The first use of the word in something like the modern sense came in the early 17th century, but until the Victorian era a building where goods were produced was more usually called a manufactory. The root of factory is Latin facere ‘to make or do’, the source of a great many English words such as fact, factor, feat, and feature (all LME). The sense ‘a place where things are made’ probably came from Latin factorium ‘oil press’.

Words that rhyme with fact

abreact, abstract, act, attract, bract, compact, contract, counteract, diffract, enact, exact, extract, humpbacked, impact, interact, matter-of-fact, pact, protract, redact, refract, retroact, subcontract, subtract, tact, tract, transact, unbacked, underact, untracked

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: fact

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