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adjective actual pronunciation in British English /ˈæktʃuəl/
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  1. 1
    [only before noun] used for emphasizing what is really true or exact compared with a general idea
    The actual number of people killed is not yet known.
    We don’t know her actual date of birth.
    1. a.
      used for emphasizing what is really true or exact compared with what people expected
      How does your department’s actual performance compare with your plan and budget?
      The actual situation was quite different.
  2. 2
    used for emphasizing that something is real and not imaginary or part of an idea or plan
    The play is based on actual events.
    Do you have any actual experience of catering work?
  3. 3
    [only before noun] used for emphasizing the word that follows
    All I have to do now is write the actual letter.


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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