Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “actually”

See all translations

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?
More examples

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!
More examples

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."
More examples
(Definition of actually from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of actually?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “actually” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

piglet

a baby pig

Word of the Day

I won’t tolerate it! Replacing formal words with phrasal verbs.

by Liz Walter,
April 01, 2015
When you are using a language, it is important to understand if a word is formal or informal, so that you can use it in an appropriate way. You might hear people saying dosh for money, or spud for potato, but they wouldn’t write those words in a formal essay. Similarly, a

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More