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English definition of “actually”

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actually

adverb uk   /ˈæk.tʃu.ə.li/ /-tju-/ /-tʃʊ.li/ us  

actually adverb (IN FACT)

A2 in fact or really: I didn't actually see her - I just heard her voice. So what actually happened?
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actually adverb (SURPRISE)

B1 used in sentences in which there is information that is in some way surprising or the opposite of what most people would expect: I didn't like him at first, but in the end I actually got quite fond of him. I'm one of the few people who doesn't actually like champagne. humorous Don't tell me he actually paid for you!
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actually adverb (SAYING NO)

B2 used as a way of making a sentence slightly more polite, for example when you are expressing an opposing opinion, correcting what someone else has said, or refusing an offer: "Alexander looks like he'd be good at sports." "Actually, he's not." Actually, Gavin, it was Tuesday of last week, not Wednesday. "Do you mind if I smoke?" "Well, actually, I'd rather you didn't."
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(Definition of actually from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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