See also: Reality



[circa 1540] From French réalité (quality of being real), from Middle French realité (property, possession), from Medieval Latin reālitās, from Late Latin reālis (real), equivalent to real +‎ -ity. Recorded since 1550 as a legal term in the sense of “fixed property” (compare real estate, realty); the sense “real existence” is attested from 1647.


  • IPA(key): /ɹiˈælɪti/, /ɹiˈæləti/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ælɪti


reality (usually uncountable, plural realities)

  1. The state of being actual or real.
    The reality of the crash scene on TV dawned upon him only when he saw the victim was no actor but his friend.
    • 1712 February 13, Joseph Addison; Richard Steele, “SATURDAY, February 2, 1711–1712 [Julian calendar]”, in The Spectator, number 291; republished in Alexander Chalmers, editor, The Spectator; a New Edition, [], volume III, New York, N.Y.: D[aniel] Appleton & Company, 1853, OCLC 191120697:
      A man very often fancies that he understands a critic, when in reality he does not comprehend his meaning.
    • 1915, G[eorge] A. Birmingham [pseudonym; James Owen Hannay], chapter I, in Gossamer, New York, N.Y.: George H. Doran Company, OCLC 5661828:
      As a political system democracy seems to me extraordinarily foolish, []. My servant is, so far as I am concerned, welcome to as many votes as he can get. [] I do not suppose that it matters much in reality whether laws are made by dukes or cornerboys, but I like, as far as possible, to associate with gentlemen in private life.
    • 2013 June 7, Joseph Stiglitz, “Globalisation is about taxes too”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 19:
      It is time the international community faced the reality: we have an unmanageable, unfair, distortionary global tax regime. It is a tax system that is pivotal in creating the increasing inequality that marks most advanced countries today [].
  2. A real entity, event or other fact.
    The ultimate reality of life is that it ends in death.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 7”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      And to realities yield all her shows.
    • 1770, James Beattie, Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth
      My neck, Sir, may be an idea to you, but to me it is a reality.
    • 2005 October 25, European Court of Human Rights, Wypych v. Poland[1], number 2428/05:
      Given the economic realities of contemporary Poland, a requirement to provide information on movable assets which exceed PLN 10,000 in value cannot be held to be excessive.
  3. The entirety of all that is real.
  4. An individual observer's own subjective perception of that which is real.
  5. (obsolete) Loyalty; devotion.
  6. (law, obsolete) Realty; real estate.



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Related termsEdit


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.

Usage notesEdit

Adjectives that collocate with reality include: harsh; stark; brutal; grim; bitter

Further readingEdit




Borrowed from English reality. Doublet of realidad.


reality m (plural realities or realitys)

  1. (television) reality show
    Synonym: reality show