Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

real

 - definition
 
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
adjective real pronunciation in British English /rɪəl/
  1. 1
    existing in the physical world, not just in someone's imagination or in stories

    Children believe that these characters are real.

    She had many illnesses, both real and imaginary.

    real live:

    I had never met a real live pop star before.

  2. 2
    not false or artificial

    Is that a real diamond?

    You'd pay more for real leather.

  3. 3
    used for emphasizing that someone or something has the true qualities of a particular type of person or thing

    Few tourists see the real Spain.

    He had no real friends.

    1. a.
      informal complete: used for emphasizing that a description of someone or something is very accurate

      You could tell the guy was a real nerd.

      This walk is a real treat for anyone interested in birds.

  4. 4
    [usually before noun] true and not just according to what someone claims

    We all know the minister's real reason for refusing to speak.

    Her real name is Jane Trent.

  5. 5
    [usually before noun] important or impressive enough to be worth considering or worrying about

    The committee had little real power.

    The journey was difficult, but we were never in any real danger.

  6. 6
    most important

    The real problem is toxic waste and oil slicks.

  7. 8
    [only before noun] a real amount or number is one that you get after considering everything that could affect its value

    Real economic growth was measured at 4.5%.

    real wages (=the true value of wages):

    Both prices and wages are rising, leaving real wages unchanged.

sandwich generation

a generation … who are balancing working life with caring for both their teenage children and elderly parents

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

dish

to gossip or share personal information with someone …

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog