Definition of reality in English:


Syllabification: re·al·i·ty
Pronunciation: /rēˈalətē

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; truth; 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
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    • 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
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    • 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
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    • 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
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    • 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.
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    • 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).

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