real - definition and synonyms


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  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.

     Synonyms and related words
  6. 6
    most important

    The real problem is toxic waste and oil slicks.

     Synonyms and related words
  7. 7
    something in a book, film etc that is real seems so much like life that you almost believe it exists
  8. 8
    [only before noun] a real amount or number is one that you get after considering everything that could affect its value
    real wages (=the true value of wages):

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