American English

Definition of actually adverb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , NAmE//ˈæktʃəli//
    , NAmE//ˈækʃəli//
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  1. 1used in speaking to emphasize a fact or a comment, or that something is really true What did she actually say? It's not actually raining now. That's the only reason I'm actually going. There are lots of people there who can actually help you. I didn't want to say anything without actually reading the letter first.
  2. 2used to show a contrast between what is true and what someone believes, and to show surprise about this contrast It was actually great fun after all. The food was not actually all that expensive. Our turnover actually increased last year.
  3. 3used to correct someone in a polite way We're not American, actually. We're Canadian. Actually, it would be much more sensible to do it later. They're not married, actually.
  4. 4used to get someone's attention, to introduce a new topic, or to say something that someone may not like, in a polite way Actually, I'll be a little late getting home. Actually, I'm busy at the moment—can I call you back? Which Word?actual / current / presentActual does not mean current or present. It means “real” or “exact,” and is often used in contrast with something that is not seen as real or exact:I need the actual figures, not an estimate.Present means “existing or happening now”:How long have you been in your present job?Current also means “existing or happening now,” but can suggest that the situation is temporary:The factory cannot continue its current level of production.Actually does not mean “at the present time.” Use currently, at the present time, or at the moment instead.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: actually