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EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Middle English actual, actuel (active), from Anglo-Norman actuel, actual, and its source Late Latin actualis (active, practical), from Latin actus (act, action, performance), from agere (to do; to act) + -alis (-al).

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

actual (not comparable)

  1. (chiefly theology) Relating to a person's acts or deeds; active, practical. [from 14th c.]
    • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, Macbeth, First Folio 1623, V.1:
      In this slumbry agitation, besides her walking, and other actuall performances, what (at any time) haue you heard her say?
    • 1650, Jeremy Taylor, The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living:
      Let your holy and pious intention be actual; that is [] by a special prayer or action, [] given to God.
    • 1946, The American Ecclesiastical Review, vol. 114:
      Apparently, the holy Doctor was referring to actual, rather than original, sin; yet the basis of his argument for Mary's holiness, the divine maternity, would logically lead to the conclusion that she was free from original sin also.
  2. Existing in reality, not just potentially; really acted or acting; occurring in fact. [from 14th c.]
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 1, in The China Governess[1]:
      The original family who had begun to build a palace to rival Nonesuch had died out before they had put up little more than the gateway, so that the actual structure which had come down to posterity retained the secret magic of a promise rather than the overpowering splendour of a great architectural achievement.
    • 2013 June 7, Gary Younge, “Hypocrisy lies at heart of Manning prosecution”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 18:
      They also exposed the blatant discrepancy between the west's professed values and actual foreign policies.
    the actual cost of goods;  the actual case under discussion
    The actual government expenses dramatically exceed the budget.
  3. (now rare) In action at the time being; now existing; current.
    • 1790, Edmund Burke, Reflections on the revolution in France:
      If this be your actual situation, compared to the situation to which you were called, as it were by the voice of God and man, I cannot find it in my heart to congratulate you on the choice you have made, or the success which has attended your endeavours.
  4. Used as intensifier to emphasise a following noun; exact, very. [from 18th c.]
    • 2013 August 3, “The machine of a new soul”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8847:
      [H]ow the neurons are organised in these lobes and ganglia remains obscure. Yet this is the level of organisation that does the actual thinking—and is, presumably, the seat of consciousness.

Usage notesEdit

  • In most Romance and Germanic languages the cognate of actual means “current”. This meaning has also been used in English since the sixteenth century, but is now rare.
  • The phrase in actual fact is criticised by many as redundant.[1]

SynonymsEdit

AntonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

NounEdit

actual (plural actuals)

  1. An actual, real one; notably:
    1. (finance) Something actually received; real receipts, as distinct from estimated ones.
    2. (military) A radio callsign modifier that specifies the commanding officer of the unit or asset denoted by the remainder of the callsign and not the officer's assistant or other designee.
      Bravo Six Actual, this is Charlie One. Come in, over. (The radio operator is requesting to speak to the commander of the unit under the call sign "Bravo Six.")

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Christopher Howse; Richard Preston (2007) She Literally Exploded: The Daily Telegraph Infuriating Phrasebook, London: Constable and Robinson, →ISBN, page 3.

Further readingEdit

AnagramsEdit


CatalanEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Latin actualis.

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

actual (masculine and feminine plural actuals)

  1. present, current
  2. factual

Related termsEdit

Further readingEdit


GalicianEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Latin actualis.

AdverbEdit

actual m, f (plural actuais)

  1. current, present
  2. factual, real, actual

Derived termsEdit


InterlinguaEdit

PortugueseEdit

AdjectiveEdit

actual m, f (plural actuais, comparable)

  1. superseded spelling of atual.

ScotsEdit

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

actual (comparative mair actual, superlative maist actual)

  1. actual

ReferencesEdit


SpanishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Latin actualis.

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /aɡˈtwal/, [aɣˈt̪wal]
  • Rhymes: -al

AdjectiveEdit

actual (plural actuales)

  1. present, current
  2. factual
  3. (philosophy) actual, real

Usage notesEdit

  • Actual is a false friend, and does not mean the same as the English word actual. Spanish equivalents are shown above, in the "Translations" section of the English entry actual.

Related termsEdit

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit