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existing in act or fact; real:
an actual case of heroism; actual expenses.
existing now; present; current:
The ship’s actual position is 22 miles due east of Miami.
Obsolete. pertaining to or involving acts or action.
Contemporary Examples

I mean, I do end up writing, but in a twelve hour writing day, I have about four hours of actual writing.
Bob Balaban: How I Write Noah Charney February 4, 2014

As for Obama, he has treated legislative victory as an end in itself while ignoring the reality of actual implementation.
George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Our Era of Bipartisan Ineptitude Lloyd Green July 6, 2013

For Panetta, the act of using force is seemingly more important than the actual tangible result achieved by using force.
Leon Panetta Is What’s Wrong With D.C. Michael Cohen October 7, 2014

A judge dismissed the case a week later, saying, “Federal court only has authority of actual cases and controversies.”
Queen of the Birthers Max Blumenthal July 29, 2009

For these women, the actual birth usually comes as a shock, as they have suppressed the knowledge that they are pregnant.
France’s Twisted Baby Massacre Constantino Diaz-Duran, Eric Pape July 29, 2010

Historical Examples

The law has nothing to do with the actual state of the parties’ minds.
The Common Law Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

He waited an eternity; in actual time it was exactly ten minutes.
Way of the Lawless Max Brand

The actual decrease may be found by means of a spring balance.
Ontario Teachers’ Manuals: Nature Study Ontario Ministry of Education

There has not yet been much opportunity to test the airship in actual warfare.
Flying Machines W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

I mention these extremes only to show the range of their actual influence.
Major Prophets of To-Day Edwin E. Slosson

existing in reality or as a matter of fact
real or genuine
existing at the present time; current
(usually preceded by your) (Brit, informal, often facetious) (intensifier): that music’s by your actual Mozart, isn’t it?

early 14c., “pertaining to an action,” from Old French actuel “now existing, up to date” (13c.), from Late Latin actualis “active, pertaining to action,” adjectival form of Latin actus (see act (n.)). The broader sense of “real, existing” (as opposed to potential, ideal, etc.) is from late 14c.


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