Definition of actual in English:


See synonyms for actual

Translate actual into Spanish


  • 1Existing in fact; typically as contrasted with what was intended, expected, or believed.

    ‘the estimate was much less than the actual cost’
    • ‘those were his actual words’
    • ‘There are actual real live people out there that Blog and I'm going to meet one, How exciting!’
    • ‘Somewhere in this mass of opinions and actual fact lies the truth about what is actually safe.’
    • ‘I think maybe to read this blog you have to know the person and know what is going on in the actual real life.’
    • ‘Viable alternatives to oil will only emerge when real and actual necessity dictates it.’
    • ‘This is a work of fan fiction and holds no actual relevance to the real story.’
    • ‘It's like they're trying to find an excuse for having arrested him, ignoring the actual facts.’
    • ‘Under the actual facts of the case, the Court found that the judge had taken no actions of any significance.’
    • ‘This came as no real surprise to the actual drivers who completely ignored the threat.’
    • ‘This is despite the fact that the actual number of poor children has fallen.’
    • ‘This is the inexhaustible domain of what is real without being actual, what is not but which may be.’
    • ‘In the real world, actual movements are made up of all manner of tendencies and impulses.’
    • ‘He read it literally as real, actual abuse meted out by an attacker on her victim.’
    • ‘It is a pointer to the fact that the actual bill may, itself, be wrong and the estimate right.’
    • ‘You know, there're only about five actual words in the whole of the song.’
    • ‘The actual cost of creating and maintaining that environment is minimal.’
    • ‘My writing style was a lot more fluid and readable in the dream too, shame I don't remember any of the actual words.’
    • ‘The actual cost of dealing with cancer can run into thousands of pounds.’
    • ‘In other words, the actual price of the material and its selling price is very different.’
    • ‘It is difficult to see how the actual words in the Constitution support her approach.’
    • ‘These are not his actual words but they are a pretty close approximation from memory.’
    real, true, genuine, authentic, verified, attested, confirmed, definite, hard, plain, clear, clear-cut, undeniable, veritable
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Used to emphasize the important aspect of something.
      ‘the book could be condensed into half the space, but what of the actual content?’
      • ‘All the hype on this one seems to have run ahead of the album's actual content and import.’
      • ‘As this has happened, the structure of the content, the actual text, has become more important.’
      • ‘So, the actual content of the cigarette is less important than its function.’
      • ‘In this context, it's the fight against these systems that are more important than actual victory.’
      • ‘In other words, the area in which they bought was more important than the actual house.’
      • ‘Now we know all about the actual car, the important part of the day was in the driving.’
      • ‘The website is as I though a triumph of pretentious style over actual content.’
      • ‘It would be good to know something about the actual content of the meeting.’
      • ‘One of the problems is that for a whole range of drink now, the actual alcohol content in them has gone up.’
      • ‘The doses were very small and were calculated to be small in terms of actual virus particles.’
      • ‘The two countries were almost at war and that is much more important than marking the day of the actual event.’
      • ‘Names are great but it is the actual proceedings that underpin what we do that is important.’
      • ‘Such benefits are often known as use values, since they require actual participation to enjoy them.’
      • ‘The site had become unkept and littered with refuse and waste, in particularly the actual pond itself.’
      • ‘Japan is taking part in the peace process as host, but is not an actual participant.’
      • ‘A lot of people think it may be the actual intensity of the soundwave that's important.’
      • ‘Two of the most important factors are the topography of the seafloor and the actual shape of the shoreline.’
      • ‘The actual life experience of the therapist can be an extremely important factor.’
      • ‘Thus, the actual footage of Carroll saying anything of importance is a bit limited.’
      • ‘It did make me want to buy one of his CD's, the actual rapping was good, he does has a very distinctive voice.’
      exact, particular, very, specific, actual, distinct
      View synonyms
  • 2Existing now; current.

    ‘using actual income to measure expected income’
    • ‘This is the gap that exists between the total future market potential and the current actual usage in the market.’
    • ‘It will need simple but accurate budgets and forecasts to check against actual income and expenditure.’
    • ‘There is a dispute between the parties as to the actual income of the Respondent.’
    • ‘If people do not have details of their actual income for this tax year, they must provide an estimate.’
    • ‘Estimates which were lower than the actual income of the taxpayer were not appealed against.’
    • ‘Nor, at Lord's, is there an actual or present threat of people throwing bottles at players.’
    • ‘Some people are very good at reducing their actual income to a low taxable income.’
    current, present, existing, existent, actual, extant
    View synonyms



/ˈak(t)SH(əw)əl/ /ˈæk(t)ʃ(əw)əl/


    in actual fact
    • Used to emphasize a comment, typically one that modifies or contradicts a previous statement.

      ‘people talk as if he were a monster—in actual fact he was a very kind guy’
      • ‘The accused, in actual fact, had not previously been to Cuba.’
      • ‘Sometimes a customer will ask for a maintenance contract when, in actual fact, they need a lot more.’
      • ‘Still, I haven't met many people who were kinder and more even-handed, or less racist in actual fact.’
      • ‘But in actual fact, dance classes are fun, active and educational, whether your kid's a budding Bonnie or not.’
      • ‘No, in actual fact, I listen to many types of music including popular music.’
      • ‘I actually had the advantage of reading in detail his words and, in actual fact, he did not quite say that.’
      • ‘They SAID they loved you, but in actual fact, it turned out that they didn't.’
      • ‘In actual fact, we appear to benefit from this change rather than suffer.’
      • ‘In actual fact, the Brazilians could have scored more goals, but this did not happen.’
      • ‘In actual fact, it was a pleasant encounter and it is nice to see that coming out of our Police Force.’


Middle English from Old French actuel ‘active, practical’, from late Latin actualis, from actus (see act).