Something real is genuine. If you inherit some jewelry, you'll have to take it to an expert to know if those diamonds are real or just cubic zirconia, which looks like a diamond but isn't worth nearly as much.

That seven footed monster your big brother used to tell you frightening stories about isn't real, and neither, sorry to say, is Santa Claus, because to be real, something has to actually exist. Real has roots in the Latin word res, meaning "thing." We also use real to mean "significant," like when we say something is a real problem, or when we say we're really, truly sorry about something. In old Spain or Brazil, a real is a coin.

Definitions of real
  1. adjective
    being or occurring in fact or actuality; having verified existence; not illusory
    real objects”
    real people”
    “a film based on real life”
    “a real illness”
    real humility”
    “"Life is real! Life is earnest!"- Longfellow”
    synonyms: existent
    capable of being perceived by the senses; not abstract or imaginary
    echt, genuine
    not fake or counterfeit
    taking place in reality; not pretended or imitated
    actual, factual
    existing in act or fact
    documentary, objective
    emphasizing or expressing things as perceived without distortion of personal feelings, insertion of fictional matter, or interpretation
    having once lived or existed or taken place in the real world as distinct from being legendary
    aware or expressing awareness of things as they really are
    open and genuine; not deceitful
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    lacking in reality or substance or genuineness; not corresponding to acknowledged facts or criteria
    counterfeit, imitative
    not genuine; imitating something superior
    artificial, unreal
    contrived by art rather than nature
    not existing in nature or subject to explanation according to natural laws; not physical or material
    conceived of or imagined or hoped for
    envisioned, pictured, visualised, visualized
    seen in the mind as a mental image
    eye-deceiving, trompe-l'oeil
    creating the illusion of seeing reality
    fabled, legendary
    celebrated in fable or legend
    fabricated, fancied, fictional, fictitious
    formed or conceived by the imagination
    fabulous, mythic, mythical, mythologic, mythological
    based on or told of in traditional stories; lacking factual basis or historical validity
    fanciful, imaginary, notional
    not based on fact; unreal
    fantastic, fantastical
    existing in fancy only
    characterized by or characteristic of hallucination
    illusional, illusionary
    marked by or producing illusion
    illusive, illusory
    based on or having the nature of an illusion
    make-believe, pretend
    imagined as in a play
    not realistic
    lacking sincerity
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  2. adjective
    being or reflecting the essential or genuine character of something
    synonyms: actual, genuine, literal
    consistent with fact or reality; not false
  3. adjective
    coinciding with reality
    synonyms: veridical
    aware or expressing awareness of things as they really are
  4. adjective
    no less than what is stated; worthy of the name
    “the real reason”
    real war”
    “a real friend”
    “meat and potatoes--I call that a real meal”
    “it's time he had a real job”
    “it's no penny-ante job--he's making real money”
    having all the qualities typical of the thing specified
    rightly so called
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    not actually such; being or seeming fanciful or imaginary
    deceptive, delusory
    causing one to believe what is not true or fail to believe what is true
    dreamlike, surreal
    resembling a dream
    apparently sensed but having no physical reality
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  5. adjective
    not to be taken lightly
    “statistics demonstrate that poverty and unemployment are very real problems”
    “to the man sleeping regularly in doorways homelessness is real
    concerned with work or important matters rather than play or trivialities
  6. adjective
    capable of being treated as fact
    “his brief time as Prime Minister brought few real benefits to the poor”
    synonyms: tangible
    capable of being perceived by the senses; not abstract or imaginary
  7. adjective
    having substance or capable of being treated as fact; not imaginary
    synonyms: material, substantial
    derived from or composed of matter
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    insubstantial, unreal, unsubstantial
    lacking material form or substance; unreal
    aerial, aeriform, aery, airy, ethereal
    characterized by lightness and insubstantiality; as impalpable or intangible as air
    shadowy, wraithlike
    lacking in substance
    consisting of or containing string or strings
    immaterial, nonmaterial
    not consisting of matter
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  8. adjective
    of, relating to, or representing an amount that is corrected for inflation
    real prices”
    real income”
    real wages”
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    of, relating to, or characteristic of an amount that is not adjusted for inflation
  9. noun
    any rational or irrational number
    synonyms: real number
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    dot product, inner product, scalar product
    a real number (a scalar) that is the product of two vectors
    rational, rational number
    an integer or a number that can be expressed the quotient of two integers (where the denominator does not equal zero)
    irrational, irrational number
    a real number that cannot be expressed as a rational number
    transcendental number
    an irrational number that is not algebraic
    algebraic number
    root of an algebraic equation with rational coefficients
    the quotient of two rational numbers
    type of:
    complex number, complex quantity, imaginary, imaginary number
    (mathematics) a number of the form a+bi where a and b are real numbers and i is the square root of -1
  10. adjective
    (of property) fixed or immovable
    real property consists of land and buildings”
    (of especially business assets) having physical substance and intrinsic monetary value
  11. adverb
    used as intensifiers; `real' is sometimes used informally for `really'; `rattling' is informal
    “I'm real sorry about it”
    synonyms: rattling, really, very
  12. noun
    the basic unit of money in Brazil; equal to 100 centavos
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    type of:
    Brazilian monetary unit
    monetary unit in Brazil
  13. noun
    an old small silver Spanish coin
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    type of:
    a flat metal piece (usually a disc) used as money
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