Meaning of ACTUAL in English

/ ˈæktʃuəl; NAmE / adjective [ only before noun ]


used to emphasize sth that is real or exists in fact :

What were his actual words?

The actual cost was higher than we expected.

James looks younger than his wife but in actual fact (= really) he is five years older.


used to emphasize the most important part of sth :

The wedding preparations take weeks but the actual ceremony takes less than an hour.



actual / current / present

Actual does not mean current or present . It means 'real' or 'exact', and is often used in contrast with something that is not seen as real or exact:

I need the actual figures, not an estimate.

Present - 'existing or happening now ':

How long have you been in your present job?

Current also means 'existing or happening now', but can suggest that the situation is temporary:

The factory cannot continue its current level of production.

Actually does not mean 'at the present time'. Use currently , at present or at the moment instead.

· note at presently



Middle English : from Old French actuel active, practical, from late Latin actualis , from actus event, thing done, act- done, from the verb agere , reinforced by the French noun acte .

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.