reality check

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reality check

An event or outcome that forces one to accept or reevaluate the reality of one's position or situation. I think the government's latest round of legislation is a reality check to those still holding onto the belief that they had lower-class citizens' best interests in mind. The loss against Scotland is bound to be a reality check for England that they need to rethink their strategy on the field.
See also: check, reality

reality check

An assessment to determine if one's circumstances or expectations conform to reality, as in Time for a reality check-wasn't this supposed to be a money-making enterprise? [Slang; second half of 1900s]
See also: check, reality

a reality check

COMMON A reality check is something that forces you to accept the truth of a situation. This defeat is a reality check after two victories against reasonably good opposition. Today's poll is a reality check for those who believe that the government faces certain defeat.
See also: check, reality
References in periodicals archive ?
So far most Reality Checks workshops have focused on the news side, but one workshop also included business side staff.
It's too soon to evaluate the impact of Reality Checks, but from the content audits similarities emerge in coverage patterns and in the relationship between the findings and the quality of reporting and decision-making.
Do a "reality check" by reminding them of what you thought the issue was.
Careful writers run routine reality checks on their work to confinn that all is progressing as it should.
It was with great regret that I noted the death of the phrase "reality check" some weeks ago.
It was at this point that I rose above the remains of my Zone breakfast and bellowed at the top of my lungs, "Reality check!"