1829, of art, literature, etc., "true to reality, exhibiting realism in description or representation;" 1831 as "involving a practical view of life" (opposed to idealistic); see realist + -ic. Related: Realistically.
a realistic view of the possibilities
a realistic appraisal of our chances
the actors tried to create a realistic portrayal of the Africans
a realistic description
a realistic novel
a realistic system of thought