real Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “real” in the English Dictionary

"real" in British English

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realadjective

uk   /rɪəl/  us   /riː.əl/
  • real adjective (NOT IMAGINARY)

A2 existing in ​fact and not ​imaginary: Assuring the ​patient that she has a real and not ​imaginaryproblem 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 ​risingprices 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 ​risingprices: Average ​earningsrose 5 ​percent in real ​terms after ​deductingincometax.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 ​wastetime on ​virtualfriendships, when there are ​people out there in the real ​world who ​want to ​spendtime with you?
See also

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  • real adjective (NOT FALSE)

A2 [before noun] being what it ​appears to be and not ​false: real ​leather/​fur Is that a ​toygun or the real thing?
Synonym
[before noun] UK approving (​especially of ​foods) ​produced using ​traditionalmethods and without ​artificialsubstances: The ​pubsells several ​kinds of real ale (= ​traditionalbeer).for real B2 informal real, not ​pretended: I ​thought it was just a ​drill but ​apparently it was for real.

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  • real adjective (IMPORTANT)

B2 [before noun] the most ​important; the ​main: The real ​difficulty was the ​language, because my ​children don't ​speakEnglish. Novelty ​value may be a ​part of it, but the real ​reasonpeople like ​ourpaper is that it ​speaks the ​truth.

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  • real adjective (VERY GREAT)

B2 [before noun] used to ​emphasize a ​noun: He's a real ​gentleman. She was a real ​help. It's a real ​nuisance.

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realadverb

uk   /rɪəl/  us   /riː.əl/ mainly US informal
very: I like this ​homemadelemonade, it's real good! It's real ​easy to do.
(Definition of real from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"real" in American English

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realadjective

 us   /ˈri·əl, ril/
  • real adjective (ACTUAL)

existing in ​fact; not ​imaginary: There is a real ​possibility that he will ​lose his ​job. This is a ​truestory about real ​people.
  • real adjective (NOT FALSE)

being what it ​appears to be; ​genuine: Are those ​flowers real or ​fake? The ​chest of ​drawers is a real ​antique.
  • real adjective (VERY GREAT)

[not gradable] very ​great or to a ​greatdegree: He’s a real ​gentleman. The ​currentsituation is a real ​mess.

realadverb [not gradable]

 us   /ˈri·əl, ril/ infml
in a very ​great way or to a ​greatdegree: I get ​cold real ​easy. It’s real ​nice to ​meet you.
(Definition of real from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"real" in Business English

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realadjective [before noun]

uk   us   /rɪəl/
ECONOMICS after considering the ​effects of ​inflation: Wages ​rose by 2.9% last ​year, but real ​earnings still ​fell by 1.3%. Japan's ​economygrew by 1.5% in real ​terms in the first ​quarter.
(Definition of real from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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