• (America) IPA: /ˈæk(t)ʃ(əw)əl/
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈak(t)ʃj(ʊ)əl/
  • (dated, RP) IPA: /ˈaktj(ʊ)əl/

actual (not comparable)

  1. (chiefly, theology) relating to a person's acts or deeds; active, practical [from 14th c.]
    • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, Macbeth, First Folio 1623, V.1:
      In this slumbry agitation, besides her walking, and other actuall performances, what (at any time) haue you heard her say?
    • 1946, The American Ecclesiastical Review, vol. 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.]
    the actual cost of goods;  the actual case under discussion
    The actual government expenses dramatically exceed the budget.
    Synonyms: real
    Antonyms: potential, possible, virtual, speculative, conceivable, theoretical, nominal, hypothetical, estimated
  3. (now, rare) in action at the time being; now existing; current. [from 16th c.]
    • c. 1793, Edward Gibbon, Memoirs of My Life, Penguin 1990, p. 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, very. [from 18th c.]
    Synonyms: present
    Antonyms: future, past
Synonyms Translations Translations
  • Russian: и́стинный
Translations Translations Noun

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, 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.")

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