A2 existing in fact and not imaginary: Assuring the patient that she has a real and not imaginary problem is the first step. There is a very real threat that he will lose his job.real earnings, income, etc. › the value of earnings, etc. after the effect of rising prices is considered: Wages rose by 2.9 percent last year, but real earnings still fell by 1.3 percent.in real terms › after considering things that affect what a number or amount really means, such as the effect of rising prices: Average earnings rose 5 percent in real terms after deducting income tax.the real world › things as they really are, not as they exist in the imagination, in a story, on the internet, etc.: Over-protecting children does not equip them to deal with the real world. Why waste time on virtual friendships, when there are people out there in the real world who want to spend time with you?