the fact of the matter

Also found in: Wikipedia.

the fact of the matter

The most basic, fundamental truth of something. I know these regulations are unpopular, but the fact of that matter is that we have to control property prices if we are going to avoid an economic crisis like what we faced in the past. He never shies away from discussing the fact of the matter, even if it means he comes across badly.
See also: fact, matter, of
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

the ˈfact/ˈtruth of the matter

used when you want to show you are being honest, or when you are telling somebody something unusual or surprising: I didn’t take anything, and that’s the truth of the matter.The fact of the matter is that they only got married so she could stay in the country.
See also: fact, matter, of, truth
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

fact of the matter, the

The truth. This rather empty phrase, for which plain and simple “fact” would do just as well, is somewhat newer than its turnaround companion, as a matter of fact, which means “in truth” and, as Eric Partridge pointed out years ago, often precedes a lie. Both have been clichés since the nineteenth century. Two closely related locutions are the truth of the matter and if truth be known, which generally precede an emphatic statement of how the speaker sees a situation. On the other hand, matter-of-fact used as an adjective has a quite different meaning, that is, straightforward and commonplace, and a matter of fact without as has meant, since the sixteenth century, something of an actually factual nature.
See also: fact, of
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in classic literature ?
'The fact of the matter is,' said the benevolent gentleman, 'that my friend here (pointing to the other plump gentleman) will give you half a guinea, if you'll answer one or two--'
"The fact of the matter is," said she significantly, and also in a half whisper, "everyone knows Count Cyril's reputation....
The fact of the matter is that things are going on in Germany, just at the present moment, the knowledge of which is of vital interest to us."
The fact of the matter was that he had only just finished giving the father of the family his shilling, and he was afraid that Claire had seen him doing it.
The fact of the matter is, I thought, with Sir Henry Curtis and Captain Good, that the best plan would be to tell my story in a plain, straightforward manner, and to leave these matters to be dealt with subsequently in whatever way ultimately may appear to be desirable.
The fact of the matter as regards the helmet, steed, and knight that Don Quixote saw, was this.
Of course I couldn't have left her there alone, no matter how much I might have desired to do so; but the fact of the matter was that I didn't desire to leave her.
But the fact of the matter is that the world growth and history have been having inherent correlations with personal passions and individual characteristics.
BLISSFUL is the evening calm from the sea Faces gleaming now and forever eternity By the grace of God happiness fills our lives And no more madness with the Government telling lies It's calamity from 10 Downing Street But all that people want is dancing on their feet Music takes control, a passion with desire As Lulu once sang: "Relight My Fire" People coming together to the word on the street A world full of music and dancing to the beat Dancers of all known quality perform with grace It's the fact of the matter to the human race People working as one to express joy and love Raindrops from Heaven with wings of the dove Now, Mrs May, you have let the people down And there's egg on your face, yes, you look like a clown!
The fact of the matter is, are there jobs only on paper?
But as he prepared for tonight's visit of Wigan, Adkins said: "The fact of the matter is that he didn't go.
'The committee is also mandated to work assiduously and find the fact of the matter and submit to the ministry in one week time, to guide the government on action to be taken,' the statement maintained.
THE fact of the matter is that Gareth Bale has a very lucrative contract at Real Madrid until 2022.
The fact of the matter is that our government has a penchant for going for polluting and expensive oil, gas, LNG and risky nuclear power plants.
The fact of the matter is that we are fighting for every single vote in this referendum.