From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishldoce_741_zreallyreal‧ly /ˈrɪəli/ ●●●S1W1 adverb1veryVERY very syn extremelya really good filmIt was really cold last night.He walks really slowly.I’m really, really sorry.RegisterReally is especially frequent in spoken English. In writing, people usually prefer to use very or extremely to emphasize an adjective, or very much to emphasize a verb: a really dangerous activity → a very dangerous activity | I really enjoyed the play. → I enjoyed the play very much.2the real situationTRUE used when you are talking about what actually happened or is true, rather than what people might wrongly thinkWhy don’t you tell us what really happened?Oliver’s not really her brother.I never know what he’s really thinking.She seems unfriendly at first, but she’s really very nice.SPOKEN PHRASES3definitelyCERTAINLY/DEFINITELY used to emphasize something you are sayingWe really need that extra money.I really don’t mind.I’m absolutely fine, Dad – really.4not true used in questions when you are asking someone if something is true and suggesting that you think it is not true syn honestlyDo you really think she’s doing this for your benefit?Do you really expect me to believe that?5a)SURPRISED really? used to show that you are surprised by what someone has said‘He’s Canadian.’ ‘Really?’b)INTERESTED really? used in conversation to show that you are listening to or interested in what the other person is saying‘We had a great time in Florida.’ ‘Really? How lovely.’c)American EnglishAGREE used to show that you agree with someone‘Glen can be such a jerk.’ ‘Yeah, really!’d)especially British EnglishDISAPPROVE used to show that you are angry or disapprove of somethingReally, Larry, you might have told me!6 →not really7 →should/ought really8 →really and truly
Examples from the Corpus
really• He failed his tests, but he's quite a brightguy, really.• Are you sure she's really a lawyer? She doesn't act like one.• Is your cousinreally a moviestar?• I don't think she really believes she can win.• Yet it was not reallycold here; the temperature was well abovefreezing point.• It's really cold out there.• He really doesn't trust me, does he?• It's all so long ago now, it's difficult to believe that any of it really happened.• You really have to be ready for something like that.• I'm always reallyhungry by noon.• No, really, I'm fine. Don't worry.• Don't trust James -- all he's really interested in is your money.• His letterreallyirritated her.• My kids would really like this.• She used to really like those shopping trips to Nordstrom.• If they don't know what they do that you really like, you leave them guessing.• I really like your new haircut.• But the tenuredecision was really made because of my teaching.• Really, Matt, did you have to make such a mess?• It doesn't reallymatter, does it?• This is a dazzlingly entertainingnovel, spirited in all ways, and really, really mean.• Only now, he reflected, was he beginning to feel reallysecure.• The objectorsreally should reflect more on the alternatives.• Do you think she's reallysorry?• Do you really want to come with us? It'll be very boring for you.• Neither of us really wanted to stay in Texas, but we couldn't leave his family at that time.• Considering this was your first time, I think you did really well.