Meaning of REAL in English


I. ˈrē(ə)l, ˈriəl sometimes ˈril adjective

( often -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English, real, actual, of or relating to things (in law), from Middle French, from Medieval Latin & Late Latin; Medieval Latin realis of or relating to things (in law), from Late Latin, real, actual, from Latin res thing, fact + -alis -al; akin to Sanskrit rai wealth, property

1. law

a. : of or relating to things themselves or to a jus in rem

a real right

real privileges

— opposed to personal

b. of a contract in Roman & civil law : existing, made, or accompanied by delivery of the object concerned — opposed to consensual

c. : of or relating to things (as lands, tenements) that are fixed, permanent, or immovable ; specifically : of or relating to real estate

real property


a. : that is precisely what its name implies : not merely so called : truly possessing the essence of what it is called: as

(1) : authentic , genuine

was made of real gold

(2) : not merely apparent : actual , true

discovered the real reason

(3) : not artificial or counterfeit

a bouquet of real flowers

: natural

(4) : not illusory : indubitable , unquestionable

at last found real happiness

(5) : free from affectation or pretense

had a real interest in what was happening

is a real friend

b. : actually existing, occurring, or present in fact : corresponding to actuality

a story from real life


(1) : having an objective independent existence

could hardly believe that what she saw was real and not a hallucination

(2) : relating to, based on, or concerned with individual objectively existent things in the physical world

real propositions — J.H.Newman


(1) : that is neither derivative nor dependent : necessarily existent : not contingent : absolute

the concept of a real being as opposed to an accidental being

(2) : that is fundamental, intrinsic, and ultimate : not nominal or relative

real essences — J.S.Mill


(1) : belonging to the set of real numbers

the real roots of an equation

(2) : concerned with or containing real numbers

real analysis

f. : not merely verbal or formal : significant

a real statement

g. of a name : not assumed by oneself nor applied to oneself by others in place of one's original name

refused to give her real name

h. of wages or income : measured by actual purchasing power

3. : exact as regards repetition of musical intervals in transposition

a real fugue

— compare tonal

4. of lace : handmade 1


actual , true : these words are here considered only in their general uses and not in uses philosophical, aesthetic, or critical. So considered, they are often interchangeable. real may stress genuineness, especially identity or correspondence between appearance and essence

a real diamond

real people who had actually lived around here and who had been part of some real event — Dorothy Barclay

the difference between real and sham enjoyment — G.B.Shaw

real intelligence must recognize its own limitations — M.R.Cohen

actual stresses the fact of existence, of fidelity to the existent, as opposed to the nonexistent, hypothetical, abstract, or conjectural

the possible way — I am far from asserting it was the actual way — Havelock Ellis

a cultural — perhaps, for some, impossible — ideal and not the actual pattern of behavior, even in our own society — Weston La Barre

most men are potential autocrats, the strong and capable may become actual autocrats — V.L.Parrington

true states or implies conformity to the real or actual, especially as indicating or implying a standard, norm, or type

a true poet — A.T.Quiller-Couch

in the seventh and eighth centuries there were no true kings of England — Kemp Malone

of the three waterways surrounding Manhattan, only the Hudson River is a true river — American Guide Series: New York City

II. noun

( -s )

: something real:

a. : a particular reality ; especially : a mathematical real quantity

b. : reality in general — used with the

the real as contrasted with what is ideal

III. adverb

: very

was real glad to see her

— not often in formal use

IV. rāˈäl, rēˈ- noun

( plural reals -lz ; or re·ales rāˈä(ˌ)lās ; or reis ˈrās(h), -āz ; see numbered senses )

Etymology: Spanish, from real, adjective, royal, from Latin regalis — more at royal

1. or ri·al rēˈ- pl reals or reales or rials or ri·a·les

a. : a former basic monetary unit of Spain and Spanish-America

b. : an old silver coin representing one real

2. plural reals or reis

[Portuguese, from real, adjective, royal, from Latin regalis ]

a. : a Portuguese monetary unit before 1911 which became so depreciated that it was usually quoted in milreis

b. : a monetary unit of Brazil before 1942

V. adjective

1. : real-valued herein

functions of a real variable

2. of a particle : detectable — contrasted with virtual 1 herein

VI. noun

Etymology: real (IV)

1. : the basic monetary unit of Brazil

2. : a coin or note representing one real

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.