a <veritable><real> Mars invasion

< Previous | Next >


What is the difference between "a veritable Mars invasion" and "a real Mars invasion"?

I guess that the big word "veritable" particuarly emphasizes the genuinness of the invasion. Am I on the right track?

2020 will see a veritable Mars invasion as several spacecraft, including three landers, head to the red planet. NASA will launch its Mars 2020 rover, which will stash rock samples that will be returned to Earth in a future mission and will also feature a small, detachable helicopter drone.

Source: Nature 20 DECEMBER 2019
The science events to watch for in 2020
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    The invasion is figurative; I am sure none of the people involved see it as an act of war (but perhaps it is; they have secretly discovered the little green men and are now out to colonize their land and subjugate them).

    "Real" does not go well with figurative uses, which is why the rather unusual word "veritable" is used instead. I think this one of its main uses.


    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    The word "veritable" means "true" or "real", but it emphasizes that this is not real, it is exaggeration or figurative.



    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Compared to past years, this is practically [could almost be considered] an invasion. In other words, the number of spacecraft going to Mars is a lot higher this year than in previous years. But it's only an "invasion" in comparison. In real absolute terms, it's still just a small handful of spacecraft that are visiting a vast planet.
    < Previous | Next >