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Ideal vs. Real: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Published on December 28, 2023
Ideal refers to a perfect standard or model, whereas real pertains to what actually exists or happens.

Key Differences

The term 'ideal' denotes a concept or standard of perfection, often an abstract or theoretical model that is considered the best possible. In contrast, 'real' refers to what is actually existing or occurring in the physical world, free from imagination or idealization.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023
'Ideal' represents aspirations or goals that may be strived for but are often unattainable in reality. 'Real', on the other hand, grounds us in the present, acknowledging the current state of affairs or conditions as they truly are.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023
In the realm of ethics, an 'ideal' character might embody virtues to an exemplary degree, whereas a 'real' character reflects the complexities and imperfections commonly found in human behavior.
Huma Saeed
Dec 28, 2023
When considering solutions to problems, an 'ideal' solution would be the most effective and efficient, often disregarding practical constraints. Conversely, a 'real' solution takes into account the practicalities and limitations of the situation.
Janet White
Dec 28, 2023
In literature and art, 'ideal' often refers to representations that are perfected or stylized, while 'real' is used to describe depictions that are true to life and authentic, capturing the essence of the subject as it exists.
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

A standard of perfection or excellence
Actual existence or occurrence
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

In Literature

Represents a perfected, often unattainable concept
Portrays realistic, authentic scenarios
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

In Ethics

Embodies perfect virtues or standards
Reflects actual human behavior and morality
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

In Problem-Solving

Theoretical best-case scenario
Practical, feasible solutions
Aimie Carlson
Dec 28, 2023

In Perception

How things should be ideally
How things are in reality
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023
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Ideal and Real Definitions

Ideal

A principle or value that one actively pursues as a goal.
Equality is an ideal that many societies strive for.
Harlon Moss
Dec 06, 2023

Real

Not imagined or supposed; genuine.
His expression of remorse was real, not feigned.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 06, 2023

Ideal

Representing an absolute standard of perfection.
The ideal student consistently achieves top grades and participates actively in class.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Real

Actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact.
The threat of climate change is very real and alarming.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Ideal

Optimal; most suitable under the circumstances.
For hiking, the ideal weather is cool and dry.
Harlon Moss
Dec 06, 2023

Real

Legitimate or authentic.
The document was confirmed to be real, not a forgery.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Ideal

The best imaginable of its kind.
Her idea of an ideal vacation is one where she can relax on a secluded beach.
Harlon Moss
Dec 06, 2023

Real

Concerned with actual experience or practical matters.
Her approach to problem-solving is always real and down-to-earth.
Janet White
Dec 06, 2023

Ideal

Existing only in imagination; desirable but not likely.
The notion of a world without conflict is an ideal, albeit a remote one.
Harlon Moss
Dec 06, 2023

Real

True to life; realistic.
The movie portrays real-life struggles of immigrants.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Ideal

A conception of something in its absolute perfection
The ideal of national unity.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Real

Being or occurring in fact or actuality; having verifiable existence
Real objects.
A real illness.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Ideal

One that is regarded as a standard or model of perfection or excellence
The restaurant is considered the ideal in fine dining.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Real

True and actual; not imaginary, alleged, or ideal
Real people, not ghosts.
A film based on real life.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

FAQs

Is 'ideal' always achievable?

No, an 'ideal' often represents a theoretical model that might not be practically achievable.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Can 'real' also mean authentic?

Yes, 'real' can refer to something that is genuine, authentic, and not counterfeit or artificial.
Huma Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

How is 'ideal' used in ethics?

In ethics, 'ideal' refers to a moral standard or virtue considered as a model of excellence or perfection.
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023

Does 'real' always imply physical existence?

Primarily, yes. 'Real' typically refers to something that exists physically or occurs in reality.
Janet White
Dec 28, 2023

Can 'real' refer to true emotions or feelings?

Yes, 'real' can describe emotions or feelings that are sincere and not fabricated.
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023

Is 'ideal' subjective?

Yes, what is considered 'ideal' can vary greatly depending on individual perspectives and cultural values.
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023

Can 'real' pertain to realistic representations in art?

Yes, in art, 'real' often refers to depictions that are true to life and realistic.
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023

Are 'ideal' conditions always practical?

No, 'ideal' conditions are often theoretical and may not be practical or attainable in real situations.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 28, 2023

What does 'ideal' mean in philosophy?

In philosophy, 'ideal' refers to a concept of perfection or an exemplary model that represents the highest values or aspirations.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Is the 'ideal' always positive?

Typically, 'ideal' is associated with positive qualities, but it can sometimes set unrealistically high standards.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Do 'ideal' values change over time?

Yes, what is considered 'ideal' can evolve over time with cultural, societal, and individual changes.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Does 'real' imply factual truth?

Yes, 'real' often implies something that is factually true and not based on illusion or deception.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Is an 'ideal' scenario always unattainable?

Not always, but 'ideal' scenarios often represent a standard or condition that is challenging to achieve fully.
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023

Is the 'ideal' always universally agreed upon?

No, ideals can vary widely among different people and cultures, reflecting diverse values and beliefs.
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023

How do 'ideal' and 'real' differ in problem-solving?

In problem-solving, 'ideal' refers to the best possible solution in theory, while 'real' focuses on practical and achievable solutions.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 28, 2023

Can 'real' also mean honest?

Yes, 'real' can imply honesty or straightforwardness in speech or behavior.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 28, 2023

Can 'real' situations be unpleasant?

Yes, 'real' situations can sometimes be unpleasant or difficult, reflecting the complexities of actual life.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Does 'real' always mean tangible?

Mostly, 'real' refers to tangible things, but it can also include intangible realities like feelings or concepts.
Harlon Moss
Dec 28, 2023

Can 'real' experiences be subjective?

While 'real' experiences are based in reality, individual perceptions of these experiences can be subjective.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 28, 2023

Can 'ideal' be used as a goal or target?

Yes, 'ideal' often serves as a goal or target that individuals or groups strive to achieve or emulate.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 28, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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