1 TRUE INFORMATION (C) a piece of information that is known to be true: First of all, we need to establish the facts of the case.
(+ about): The book is full of interesting facts about the World Cup. | facts and figures (=the basic details, numbers etc concerning a particular situation or subject) | it's a fact/that's a fact (=used to emphasize that something is definitely true or that something definitely happened): The divorce rate in the US is now twice as high as in the 1950s - that's a fact. | it's a fact that: It's a fact that most deaths from lung cancer are caused by smoking. | I know for a fact that spoken (=used to say that you definitely know that something is true): I know for a fact that she earns more than I do. | get your facts right/wrong (=be right or wrong about something): We need to be sure we've got our facts right before making wild accusations. | stick/keep to the facts (=only say what you know is true): Let's just stick to the facts and not jump to any conclusions. | the bare facts (=the basic details of a situation or story) | hard facts (=details or pieces of information that can be proved to be true): We need some hard facts not just theories and suppositions. | the facts speak for themselves (=they show clearly that something is true): She obviously knows what she's doing - the facts speak for themselves.
2 the fact (that) used when talking about a situation and saying that it is true: He refused to help me, despite the fact that I asked him several times. | given the fact (that)/in view of the fact (that) (=used when saying that a particular fact influences your judgement about something or someone): Given the fact that this is their first game, I think they did pretty well. | owing to the fact (that)/due to the fact (that) (=because): The school's poor exam record is largely due to the fact that it is chronically underfunded.
3 REAL EVENTS/NOT A STORY (U) situations, events etc that really happened and have not been invented: Much of the novel is based on fact.
4 in fact/in actual fact
a) used to say what the real truth of a situation is, especially when this is different from what people think or say it is: They told me it would be cheap but in fact it cost me nearly $500. | Her teachers said she was a slow learner, whereas in actual fact she was partially deaf.
b) used when you are adding something, especially something surprising, to emphasize what you have just said: We live very close to Lesley's parents, in the same road in actual fact.
5 as a matter of fact spoken
a) used when you are answering someone and telling them what you really think or what the real situation is: “I didn't think you'd mind me using your office.” “Well as a matter of fact I do mind.”
b) used to add an important fact that increases the effect of what you are saying: Our ELT department is doing really well. As a matter of fact we've just signed a big new contract in China.
6 in point of fact spoken an expression used in discussions and speeches to add another piece of information or disagree with what someone else has said
7 the fact is/the fact of the matter is spoken used when you are telling someone what is actually true in a particular situation, especially when this is different from what people believe: The fact of the matter is that the company is unlikely to survive the recession.
8 the fact remains used to emphasize that a situation is true and people must realize this: The fact remains that the number of homeless people is rising daily.
9 sth is a fact of life used to say that a situation exists and must be accepted: Mass unemployment seems to be a fact of life nowadays.
10 the facts of life
a) the details about sex and how babies are born
b) the way life really is, with all its problems and difficulties
11 after the fact after something has happened or been done, especially after a mistake has been made
—see also: as a matter of fact matter 1 (16)

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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