actual

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Middle English actual, actuel (active), from Old French actuel, actual, from 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. Existing in act or reality, not just potentially; really acted or acting; occurring in fact.
    the actual cost of goods;  the actual case under discussion
  2. Factual, real, not just apparent or even false.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 1, 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.
    The actual government expenses dramatically exceed the budget.
  3. (dated) In action at the time being; now existing; current.
    The actual situation of the world economy is worse than anyone expected a year ago
  4. (obsolete) Active, not passive.
    • Shakespeare
      her walking and other actual performances.
    • Jeremy Taylor
      Let your holy and pious intention be actual; that is [] by a special prayer or action, [] given to God.
  5. Used to emphasise a noun or verb, whether something is real or metaphorical.
    • 2013 August 3, “The machine of a new soul”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8847: 
      The yawning gap in neuroscientists’ understanding of their topic is in the intermediate scale of the brain’s anatomy. Science has a passable knowledge of how individual nerve cells, known as neurons, work. It also knows which visible lobes and ganglia of the brain do what. But how 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 some foreign languages the counterpart of actual means “modern”. This meaning also occurs in English written by non-native speakers, but is nonstandard English.
  • 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 Help:How to check translations.

See alsoEdit

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, Snakebite leader" (The person with the callsign "Snakebite leader" requests to speak to the commander of company Bravo and not the radio operator.)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ “She Literally Exploded : The Daily Telegraph Infuriating Phrasebook”, Christopher Howse and Richard Preston (Constable‧London, 2007; ISBN 978‒1‒84529‒675‒9), page 3

External linksEdit

AnagramsEdit


CatalanEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Latin actualis.

AdjectiveEdit

actual m, f (masculine and feminine plural actuals)

  1. present, current
  2. factual

Related termsEdit


GalicianEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Latin actualis.

AdverbEdit

actual m, f (plural actuais)

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

Derived termsEdit


InterlinguaEdit

AdjectiveEdit

actual

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

Related termsEdit


PortugueseEdit

AdjectiveEdit

actual m, f (plural actuais; comparable)

  1. Obsolete spelling of atual.

SpanishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Latin actualis.

AdjectiveEdit

actual m, f (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

Last modified on 6 April 2014, at 06:07