/ ˈriːəl; NAmE ; BrE usually rɪəl/ adjective , adverb
EXISTING / NOT IMAGINED
actually existing or happening and not imagined or pretended :
It wasn't a ghost; it was a real person.
pictures of animals, both real and mythological
In the movies guns kill people instantly, but it's not like that in real life .
Politicians seem to be out of touch with the real world .
The growth of violent crime is a very real problem.
There's no real possibility of them changing their minds.
We have a real chance of success.
TRUE / GENUINE
genuine and not false or artificial :
Are those real flowers?
[ only before noun ] actual or true, rather than what appears to be true :
Tell me the real reason.
Bono's real name is Paul Hewson.
See the real Africa on one of our walking safaris.
I couldn't resist the opportunity to meet a real live celebrity.
[ only before noun ] having all the important qualities that it should have to deserve to be called what it is called :
She never had any real friends at school.
his first real kiss
I had no real interest in politics.
He was making a real effort to be nice to her.
She has not shown any real regret for what she did.
[ only before noun ] used to emphasize a state or quality :
He looks a real idiot.
This accident could have produced a real tragedy.
Her next play was a real contrast.
MONEY / INCOME
[ only before noun ] when the effect of such things as price rises on the power of money to buy things is included in the sums :
Real wage costs have risen by 10% in the past year.
This represents a reduction of 5% in real terms .
- for real
- get real!
- keep it real
- the real thing
—more at McCoy , power noun
( NAmE , ScotE , informal ) very :
That tastes real good.
He's a real nice guy.
I'm real sorry.
late Middle English (as a legal term meaning relating to things, especially real property ): from Anglo-Norman French , from late Latin realis , from Latin res thing.