English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English actual, actuel (active), from Anglo-Norman actuel, actual, and its source Late Latin actuālis (active, practical), from Latin actus (act, action, performance), from agere (to do; to act) + -alis (-al), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₂éǵeti, from the root *h₂eǵ-.

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

actual (not comparable)

  1. (chiefly theology) relating to a person's acts or deeds; active, practical [from 14th c.]
    • c. 1606 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene i]:
      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, volume 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.]
    Synonym: real
    Antonyms: potential, possible, virtual, speculative, conceivable, theoretical, nominal, hypothetical, estimated
    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. [from 18th c.]
    Synonym: present
    Coordinate terms: future, past
    • 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.
    • c. 1793, Edward Gibbon, Memoirs of My Life, Penguin, published 1990, page 85:
      To my actual feelings it seems incredible that I could ever believe that I believed in Transubstantiation!
  4. Used as intensifier to emphasise a following noun; exact, specific, 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 notes edit

  • In most Romance, Slavic 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 due to a semantic shift.
  • The phrase in actual fact has been proscribed by some prescriptivist sources as redundant.[1]

Synonyms edit

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun edit

actual (countable and uncountable, 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", as opposed to any available member of the unit.)
  2. (uncountable) Reality, usually with the definite article.
    • 1837, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], “A London Life”, in Ethel Churchill: Or, The Two Brides. [], volume I, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, page 161:
      There was that desolate air about the chamber which is peculiar to an ill-furnished London room: cities need luxuries, were it only to conceal the actual.

See also edit

References edit

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

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit

Catalan edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from Latin actuālis.

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

actual m or f (masculine and feminine plural actuals)

  1. present, current
  2. factual

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Further reading edit

Galician edit

Etymology edit

From Latin actuālis.

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

actual m or f (plural actuais)

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

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Further reading edit

Interlingua edit

Adjective edit

actual

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

Related terms edit

Middle English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from Anglo-Norman actuel and Late Latin āctuālis; equivalent to act +‎ -al.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /aktiu̯ˈaːl/, /ˈaktiu̯al/, /aktiu̯ˈɛːl/, /ˈaktiu̯ɛl/

Adjective edit

actual

  1. actual, real, true
  2. (philosophy, theology) active

Derived terms edit

Descendants edit

  • English: actual
  • Scots: actual

References edit

Occitan edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Latin actuālis.

Pronunciation edit

  • (file)

Adjective edit

actual m (feminine singular actuala, masculine plural actuals, feminine plural actualas)

  1. current

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Portuguese edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from Latin āctuālis.

Pronunciation edit

  • Hyphenation: ac‧tu‧al

Adjective edit

actual m or f (plural actuais)

  1. Pre-reform spelling (until Brazil 1943/Portugal 1990) of atual. Still used in countries where the agreement hasn't come into effect; may occur as a sporadic misspelling.

Romanian edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from French actuel, from Latin actualis.

Adjective edit

actual m or n (feminine singular actuală, masculine plural actuali, feminine and neuter plural actuale)

  1. present-day

Declension edit

Scots edit

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

actual (comparative mair actual, superlative maist actual)

  1. actual

References edit

Spanish edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from Latin actuālis. Cognate with English actual although a false friend.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /aɡˈtwal/ [aɣ̞ˈt̪wal]
  • Audio (Venezuela):(file)
  • Rhymes: -al
  • Syllabification: ac‧tual

Adjective edit

actual m or f (masculine and feminine plural actuales)

  1. present, current
  2. factual
  3. (philosophy) actual, real
  4. present-day
    San Pablo nació en Tarso de Cilicia en la actual Turquía.
    Saint Paul was born in Tarsus of Cilicia in present-day Turkey.

Usage notes edit

  • 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.

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Noun edit

actual m (plural actuales)

  1. (preceded by del) of the current month, year, etc.
    Synonyms: corriente, presente
    El día veinte del actual.
    The twentieth of this [month].

See also edit

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit