Meaning of “actually” in the English Dictionary

"actually" in English

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actuallyadverb

uk /ˈæk.tʃu.ə.li/ us /ˈæk.tʃu.ə.li/

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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"actually" in American English

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actuallyadverb [ not gradable ]

us /ˈæk·tʃu·ə·li/

used to say that something is true, esp. when the true situation may not be known:

We actually had a hard time moving the sofa.

Actually is often used when you want to emphasize that something is surprising or unusual:

He actually expected me to pay for his dinner.

(Definition of “actually” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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actually

Is it actually true that the effect of using oestrogens is to increase the risk of breast cancer rather than to reduce it?
I suggest to you that this wording and much of the wording here is not only complex, difficult and opaque but actually goes in entirely the wrong direction.
In future, we should cut the really big announcements down to size if it is not absolutely certain that they will actually be implemented.
I think this is a minor editorial error and that this legal basis was actually intended for the development of a societal dialogue.
They are reasonable and, above all, intended to put in place more guarantees that the priority objectives will actually be met.
In future, we will have to adjust the amounts and figures actually spent against what was originally planned, or the other way around.
Not much actually happened, though.
Some false guides in fact try to sell what is actually specific policy under the guise of gender mainstreaming and that gets us nowhere.
Indeed, thanks to the grafting of corneas, heart valves, bones, tendons and skin, the lives of patients are actually prolonged and improved.
The ports that already have effective regulations and a safe system are actually being penalised in favour of the much laxer attitude of other ports.