Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “actually”

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?

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!

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."
(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

mutant

an organism that is different from others of its type because of a permanent change in its genes

Word of the Day

What’s that lovely smell?

by Kate Woodford,
October 29, 2014
As adult humans, we can distinguish about 10,000 different smells. It’s no wonder, then, that we have so many words and expressions to describe them. This week we’re taking a look at those smell words – words that describe good smells and words that describe bad smells. Most smell words are either

Read More 

high-frequency trading noun

October 27, 2014
a type of stock market trading that uses very complex technology to trade extremely quickly, often making tiny profits which nevertheless add up to substantial sums Lewis’s book, Flash Boys, is driving a huge amount of attention toward the topic of high frequency trading, and it has rekindled some of

Read More