actual

If you describe something as actual, it really exists or is true. You might excitedly tell your friends that you saw an actual bald eagle land on your mailbox.

Use the adjective actual when you want to emphasize that something is certain or confirmed, especially when it's different from what you expected. For example, you might say, "The actual length of my cousin's visit was three weeks, even though she said she'd stay three days." The Old French root is actuel, "now existing," from the Latin word actus, "a doing, driving, or impulse."

Definitions of actual
1

adj existing in act or fact

“rocks and trees...the actual world”
actual heroism”
“the actual things that produced the emotion you experienced”
Synonyms:
factual
existent, real
being or occurring in fact or actuality; having verified existence; not illusory

adj being or existing at the present moment

“the ship's actual position is 22 miles due south of Key West”
Synonyms:
current
occurring in or belonging to the present time

adj presently existing in fact and not merely potential or possible

“the predicted temperature and the actual temperature were markedly different”
actual and imagined conditions”
Synonyms:
existent
effective
existing in fact; not theoretical; real
Antonyms:
possible, potential
existing in possibility
latent
potentially existing but not presently evident or realized
show more antonyms...

adj taking place in reality; not pretended or imitated

“we saw the actual wedding on television”
“filmed the actual beating”
Synonyms:
existent, real
being or occurring in fact or actuality; having verified existence; not illusory

adj being or reflecting the essential or genuine character of something

“her actual motive”
Synonyms:
genuine, literal, real
true
consistent with fact or reality; not false

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