noun, plural re·al·i·ties for 3, 5–7.

  1. the state or quality of being real.
  2. resemblance to what is real.
  3. a real thing or fact.
  4. real things, facts, or events taken as a whole; state of affairs: the reality of the business world; vacationing to escape reality.
  5. Philosophy.
    1. something that exists independently of ideas concerning it.
    2. something that exists independently of all other things and from which all other things derive.
  6. something that is real.
  7. something that constitutes a real or actual thing, as distinguished from something that is merely apparent.


  1. noting or pertaining to a TV program or film that portrays nonactors interacting or competing with each other in real but contrived situations, allegedly without a script: a popular reality show; reality TV.


  1. in reality, in fact or truth; actually: brave in appearance, but in reality a coward.

noun plural -ties

  1. the state of things as they are or appear to be, rather than as one might wish them to be
  2. something that is real
  3. the state of being real
  4. philosophy
    1. that which exists, independent of human awareness
    2. the totality of facts as they are independent of human awareness of themSee also conceptualism Compare appearance (def. 6)
  5. in reality actually; in fact

n.1540s, “quality of being real,” from French réalité and directly Medieval Latin realitatem (nominative realitas), from Late Latin realis (see real (adj.)). Meaning “real existence, all that is real” is from 1640s; that of “the real state (of something)” is from 1680s. Sometimes 17c.-18c. also meaning “sincerity.” Reality-based attested from 1960. Reality television from 1991. n.

  1. The quality or state of being actual or true.
  2. The totality of all things possessing actuality, existence, or essence.
  3. That which exists objectively and in fact.

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