Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “real”

real

adjective 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 imaginary problem is the first step. There is a very real threat that he will lose his job.True, real, false, and unreal 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.Earning money and money earned in real terms existing in fact, despite what appears to be the situation: Average earnings rose five percent in real terms after deducting income tax.True, real, false, and unreal

real adjective (NOT FALSE)

A2 [before noun] being what it appears to be and not false: real leather/fur Is that a toy gun or the real thing?
Synonym
True, real, false, and unreal
[before noun] UK approving (especially of foods) produced using traditional methods and without artificial substances: The pub sells several kinds of real ale (= traditional beer).Various qualities of food for real B2 informal real, not pretended: I thought it was just a fire practice but apparently it was for real.True, real, false, and unreal

real adjective (IMPORTANT)

B2 [before noun] the most important; the main: The real difficulty was the language, because my children don't speak English. Novelty value may be a part of it, but the real reason people like our paper is that it speaks the truth.IntelligencePerceptive

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.Big and quite bigEnormous

real

adverb uk   /rɪəl/ us    /riː.əl/ mainly US informal
very: I like this homemade lemonade, it's real good! It's real easy to do.Very and extremeComplete and wholeIntensifying expressions
(Definition of real from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of real?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “real” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

workmanship

the skill with which something was made or done

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More