[re.al] adj [ME, real, relating to things (in law), fr. MF, fr. ML & LL; ML realis relating to things (in law), fr. LL, real, fr. L res thing, fact; akin to Skt rayi property] (14c) 1: of or relating to fixed, permanent, or immovable things (as lands or tenements)
2. a: not artificial, fraudulent, illusory, or apparent: genuine "~ gold"; also: being precisely what the name implies "a ~ professional" b (1): occurring in fact "a story of ~ life" (2): of or relating to practical or everyday concerns or activities "left school to live in the ~ world" (3): existing as a physical entity and having properties that deviate from an ideal, law, or standard "a ~ gas"--compare ideal 3b c: having objective independent existence "unable to believe that what he saw was ~" d: fundamental, essential e (1): belonging to or having elements or components that belong to the set of real numbers "the ~ roots of an equation" "a ~ matrix" (2): concerned with or contain ing real numbers "~ analysis" (3): real-valued "~ variable" f: measured by purchasing power "~ income" "~ dollars" g: complete, utter "a ~ fiasco" 3 of a particle: capable of being detected--compare virtual 3 -- re.al.ness n -- for real 1: in earnest: seriously "fighting for real"
2: genuine "couldn't believe the threats were for real"
real n (ca. 1626): a real thing; esp: a mathematically real quantity real adv (1718): very "he was ~ cool --H. M. McLuhan" usage Most handbooks consider the adverb real to be informal and more suitable to speech than writing. Our evidence shows these observations to be true in the main, but real is becoming increasingly common in writing of an informal, conversational style. It is used as an intensifier only and is not interchangeable with really except in that use. re.al n, pl reals or re.ales [Sp, fr. real royal, fr. L regalis--more at royal] (1555): a former monetary unit and coin of Spain and its possessions re.al n, pl reals or reis [Pg, fr. real royal, fr. L regalis] (1951): a former monetary unit and coin of Portugal or Brazil