The definition of actually is something that is the truth or that is legitimate or correct.
If someone says that the sky is orange and you say "no, really, the sky is blue," this statement that the sky is blue is the one that is really or actually true.
as a matter of actual fact; really
- In fact; in reality: That tree is actually a fir, not a pine.
- Used to express wonder, surprise, or incredulity: I actually won the lottery!
- In some other languages a word of similar spelling means "now" or "currently"; (e.g., Portuguese "atualmente", Spanish "actualmente", French "actuellement", German "aktuell", Italian "attualmente", Czech "aktuálně"). This leads many non-native speakers of English to use "actually" when they mean "now" or "currently".
- Some commentators have:
- In practice, actually and its synonyms are often used to insinuate that the following is either unusual or contrary to a norm or preceding assumption, or to merely preface an overconfident opinion contrasting a previous statement or norm (as per 'vacuous emphasis' note above).
- This is actually a really beautiful song. (contrasting opinion)
- Actually, I'm not from France - I'm from Switzerland. (contrary from assumption)
- At the check-out, the cashier actually greeted me for once. (contrary from norm)
actual (“real, true, veritable”) + -ly