sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent

Reality means anything that exists. An event that has actually happened, or a thing which really exists is said to have "reality." Something close to reality is realistic.

Reality is the state of things as they are, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined.[1] In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not we can see it and understand it. An even wider definition includes everything that has existed, exists, or will exist.

Reality is often contrasted with what is imaginary, delusional, in the mind, dreams, what is false, what is fictional, or what is abstract.

All the same, what is abstract plays a role in everyday life and in academic research. For instance, causality, virtue, life and justice are abstract concepts. They are difficult to define, but they are not pure delusions.

Television programs that are not scripted are called Reality TV.

Viewpoints on reality

  • Philosophy looks at the nature of reality itself, and the relationship between the mind (as well as language and culture) and reality.
  • Science: the view that the world described by science is the real world. The scientists' view of reality depends on evidence, tests and experiments, worked out by specialists. In the end, what ends up in textbooks is what an "invisible college" of scientists has agreed on.[2][3]


  1. Compact Oxford English Dictionary of Current English. Oxford University Press, 2005. Full entry for reality: "reality • noun (pl. realities) 1 the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them. 2 a thing that is actually experienced or seen. 3 the quality of being lifelike. 4 the state or quality of having existence or substance".
  2. Ziman, John 1968. Public knowledge: essay concerning the social dimension of science. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-06894-9
  3. Crane, Diana 1972. Invisible colleges: diffusion of knowledge in scientific communities. The University of Chicago Press: Chicago and London. ISBN 0226118576