Fact. n.s. [factum, Latin.]
- A thing done; an effect produced; something not barely supposed or suspected, but really done.
In matter of fact there is some credit to be given to the testimony of man; but not in matter of opinion and judgment: we see the contrary both acknowledged and universally practised also throughout the world. Hooker, b. ii. s. 7.
As men are not to mistake the causes of these operations, so much less are they to mistake the fact or effect, and rashly to take that for done which is not done. Bacon's Nat. History.
Matter of fact breaks out and blazes with too great an evidence to be denied. South's Sermons.
- Reality; not supposition; not speculation.
Those effects which are wrought by the percussion of the sense, and by things in fact, are produced likewise in some degree by the imagination: therefore if a man see another eat sour or acid things, which set the teeth on edge, that object tainteth the imagination. Bacon's Natural History, № 795.
If this were true in fact, I do not see any colour for such a conclusion. Addison on the State of the War.
Manifold sins, though in speculation they may be separable from war, in reality and fact never fail to attend it. Smalridge.
- Action; deed.
Unhappy man! to break the pious laws
Of nature, pleading in his children's cause:
Howe'er doubtful fact is understood,
'Tis love of honour and his country's good;
The consul, not the father, sheds the blood.