1. Knowledge or information based on real occurrences: an account based on fact; a blur of fact and fancy.
a. Something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed: Genetic engineering is now a fact. That Chaucer was a real person is an undisputed fact.
b. A real occurrence; an event: had to prove the facts of the case.
c. Something believed to be true or real: a document laced with mistaken facts.
3. A thing that has been done, especially a crime: an accessory before the fact.
4. Law The aspect of a case at law comprising events determined by evidence: The jury made a finding of fact.
in (point of) fact
In reality or in truth; actually.
[Latin factum, deed, from neuter past participle of facere, to do; see dh- in Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: Fact has a long history of usage in the sense allegation of fact, as in This tract was distributed to thousands of American teachers, but the facts and the reasoning are wrong (Albert Shanker). This practice has led to the introduction of the phrases true facts and real facts, as in The true facts of the case may never be known. These usages may occasion qualms among critics who insist that facts can only be true, but the usages are often useful for emphasis.
fact /fkt/ n.1 a reality (as opposed to an opinion), such as an event, date, physical object, or number: The facts are that sales are up by 10%, but profits are down by 5%.2the facts of life or a fact of life:a. usually an unpleasant reality that one must accept: Having to work for a living is a fact of life for most people.b. fig. information about sex: She knew it was time to explain the facts of life to her daughter.3to get the facts: to find out accurate information about s.t.: The detective questioned the victim and witnesses to get the facts about the accident.
Thesaurus: fact1 the truth, actuality. Ants. fiction, fantasy.