1. adj. & adv.
1. actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact.
2 genuine; rightly so called; not artificial or merely apparent.
3 Law consisting of or relating to immovable property such as land or houses (real estate) (cf. personal property).
4 appraised by purchasing power; adjusted for changes in the value of money (real value; income in real terms).
5 Philos. having an absolute and necessary and not merely contingent existence.
6 Math. (of a quantity) having no imaginary part (see IMAGINARY 2).
7 Optics (of an image etc.) such that light actually passes through it.
--adv. Sc. & US colloq. really, very.
Phrases and idioms:
for real colloq. as a serious or actual concern; in earnest. real ale beer regarded as brewed in a traditional way, with secondary fermentation in the cask. real life that lived by actual people, as distinct from fiction, drama, etc. real live (attrib.) often joc. actual; not pretended or simulated (a real live burglar). the real McCoy see MCCOY. real money current coin or notes; cash. real tennis the original form of tennis played on an indoor court. the real thing (of an object or emotion) genuine, not inferior. real time the actual time during which a process or event occurs. real-time (attrib.) Computing (of a system) in which the response time is of the order of milliseconds, e.g. in an airline booking system.
Etymology: AF OF reel, LL realis f. L res thing 2. n. hist. a former coin and monetary unit of various Spanish-speaking countries.
Etymology: Sp., noun use of real (adj.) (as ROYAL)