vir·​gin | \ ˈvər-jən How to pronounce virgin (audio) \

Definition of virgin

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a person who has not had sexual intercourse
b : a person who is inexperienced in a usually specified sphere of activity
2a : an unmarried woman devoted to religion
b capitalized : virgo
3a : an absolutely chaste young woman
b : an unmarried girl or woman
4 capitalized : virgin mary
5 : a female animal that has never copulated



Definition of virgin (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : chaste
2 : fresh, unspoiled specifically : not altered by human activity a virgin forest
3 of a vegetable oil : obtained from the first light pressing and without heating
4a(1) : being used or worked for the first time virgin lumber — see also virgin wool
(2) of a metal : produced directly from ore by primary smelting
b : initial, first
5 : containing no alcohol a virgin daiquiri
6 : free of impurity or stain : unsullied
7 : characteristic of or befitting a virgin : modest


geographical name
Vir·​gin | \ ˈvər-jən How to pronounce Virgin (audio) \

Definition of Virgin (Entry 3 of 3)

river 200 miles (322 kilometers) long in southwestern Utah and southeastern Nevada flowing to Lake Mead

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Synonyms & Antonyms for virgin

Synonyms: Noun

abecedarian, apprentice, babe, beginner, colt, cub, fledgling, freshman, greenhorn, neophyte, newbie, newcomer, novice, novitiate, punk, recruit, rook, rookie, tenderfoot, tyro

Synonyms: Adjective

maiden, virginal

Antonyms: Noun

old hand, old-timer, vet, veteran

Antonyms: Adjective


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Examples of virgin in a Sentence


a virgin in the world of comedy clubs, he's still learning to deal with hecklers


virgin boys are sometimes unfairly teased the state's only remaining virgin forest
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At Evian’s giant bottling plant on the French-Swiss border, five trucks of virgin and recycled PET arrive each day. Saabira Chaudhuri, WSJ, "Plastic Water Bottles, Which Enabled a Drinks Boom, Now Threaten a Crisis," 12 Dec. 2018 Just a generation ago, Meghan’s future father-in-law, Prince Charles, was pressured to marry a virgin; two generations ago, Princess Margaret was forbidden from marrying Group Captain Peter Townsend because he had been previously married., "The First American Celebrity To Marry Into Royalty Had A Shocking Life," 10 May 2018 Adidas has pledged to stop using virgin plastic by 2024 and will incorporate 100 percent Ocean Plastic, and McCartney has used Ocean Plastic in her ready-to-wear and accessories collections. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Parley for the Oceans Founder Cyrill Gutsch Believes Fashion Can Lead the Way to a Healthier Planet," 29 Nov. 2018 Napo Wildlife Center, Ecuador The sole lodge within Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park exposes nature lovers to some of the Amazon’s last remaining virgin forest. Paul Rubio, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 8 Best Experiential Eco-Lodges in South America," 19 Jan. 2018 In a 6- to 8-quart pot, heat ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Eleanore Park, WSJ, "Recipes From the Golden Age of the Luncheon," 12 Sep. 2018 The implication was that only a virgin can really be raped. The Economist, "Victims of rape in South Asia face further violation from the courts," 28 June 2018 In the film, a virgin has to light a candle to resurrect an evil trio of witches from the dead. Melanie Thibeault,, "What I wish I had learned in middle-school sex ed," 11 June 2018 Curtis recalls that John Carpenter’s first Halloween only had three roles for young women: smart-aleck Annie Brackett (played by Nancy Kyes), popular cute cheerleader Lynda Van Der Klok (P.J. Soles) and quiet repressed virgin Laurie. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "'Halloween': Jamie Lee Curtis' horror heroine returns in time for 'the year of the woman'," 8 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Trader Joe's claims their product contains about 75% cauliflower, as well as cassava flour, potato starch, extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Cauliflower Gnocchi Is the Low-Carb Dinner Pasta Lovers Need to Try," 8 May 2019 Thirty years ago, this 730-acre swath of Arizona land was virgin desert, the vast blue sky interrupted only by towering saguaro cactuses. Candace Taylor, WSJ, "Scottsdale Grows ‘Up’," 11 Apr. 2019 To maximize taste without sacrificing on nutrition, flavor with extra virgin olive oil, herbs, spices, and sea salt. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "How Healthy Is Chickpea Pasta? A Dietitian Weighs In on Nutrition and Weight-Loss Benefits," 25 Mar. 2019 But customers aren’t willing to pay $16—the going rate for a craft cocktail—for a virgin drink. Anne Kadet, WSJ, "Dry January Has New York Bartenders Mixing $10 Mocktails," 22 Jan. 2019 Getty ImagesCraig Sjodin Colton Underwood is beginning to narrow down his selection of bachelorettes on the 23rd season of The Bachelor, although the virgin jokes/references show no sign of fading. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Who is 'Bachelor' Contestant Cassie Randolph?," 16 Jan. 2019 Brigitte Hermanns used to be a fan of virgin coconut oil, using it as an eye makeup remover and a body moisturizer. Lucy Craymer, WSJ, "Trouble in Paradise: Coconut Oil Prices Are Slipping and Sliding," 7 Jan. 2019 Manufacturing a product from recycled plastics is 87% more energy efficient than producing the same item with virgin materials. Stacey Mckenna,, "Recycling is easier — and better for the environment — than you think," 5 July 2018 The ReNew collection is just the first step in the brand's journey towards going fully virgin plastic-free. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Everlane Debuts New Collection Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles," 25 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'virgin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of virgin


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 6

History and Etymology for virgin


Middle English, from Anglo-French virgine, from Latin virgin-, virgo young woman, virgin

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Statistics for virgin

Last Updated

13 May 2019

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Time Traveler for virgin

The first known use of virgin was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for virgin



English Language Learners Definition of virgin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who has not had sexual intercourse
: a person who does not have experience in a particular activity, job, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of virgin (Entry 2 of 2)

: never having had sexual intercourse
: not changed from a natural or original condition : not affected by human activity
of olive oil : obtained from the first light pressing of olives


vir·​gin | \ ˈvər-jən How to pronounce virgin (audio) \

Kids Definition of virgin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who has not had sexual intercourse



Kids Definition of virgin (Entry 2 of 2)

: not yet disturbed or changed by human activity virgin forests


vir·​gin | \ ˈvər-jən How to pronounce virgin (audio) \

Medical Definition of virgin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one who has not had sexual intercourse



Medical Definition of virgin (Entry 2 of 2)

: not affected or altered by previous use or exposure (as to an antigen) : naive virgin B cells

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More from Merriam-Webster on virgin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with virgin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for virgin

Spanish Central: Translation of virgin

Nglish: Translation of virgin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of virgin for Arabic Speakers

Comments on virgin

What made you want to look up virgin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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