vir·​gin | \ˈvər-jən \

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 \

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

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 As a result of growing up in a repressed environment, these two are not only virgins. Mick Lasalle, kansascity, "‘On Chesil Beach’ fumbles its story of repressed honeymooners," 7 June 2018 The pair are like fumbling virgins in a first erotic encounter. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "A Primer on the Zoo’s Possibly Pregnant Giant Panda," 28 June 2018 Larson also thinks the legal age to marry should be eliminated so more men have a better shot at marrying young virgins. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, "Beelzebub on the ballot: Nathan Larson and the scary guys running for Congress," 4 June 2018 Society likes to see women as the virgin or the mother. Elena Nicolaou,, "The Year Of Spectacular Men," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Just last week, Everlane announced plans to eliminate all virgin plastic from its supply chain by the year 2021. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Burberry, H&M, L'Oreal and More Sign on to Address Global Plastic Crisis," 29 Oct. 2018 This spring, the teen girls of Blockers debated the future of their virgin status and took on their overbearing parents without a hint of Valley Girl whining. Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, "Why calling women 'strong female leads' is degrading," 2 July 2018 Or keep it virgin and add an ounce of rum per glass to be topped off with the juice mixture. Emily Spicer, San Antonio Express-News, "This tropical guava-cherry punch satisfies both teetotalers and partiers," 27 June 2018 One of the few remaining tracts of virgin timber east of the Mississippi River, the park’s massive trees were almost cut down for lumber in the 1960s. Jay Jones,, "Pitch a tent, and play outdoors at these 5 Midwest campgrounds," 13 June 2018 Extra virgin olive oil has a medium color and a very distinct olive flavor. Houston Chronicle, "Can banana aging be foiled?," 26 June 2018 Beginning in earnest in the 1950s, the company began selling land to developers eager to get their hands on virgin territory on the booming Westside. Scott Garner,, "Neighborhood Spotlight: Pricey Ladera Heights, tucked away in the Westside, retains a sense of community," 6 July 2018 Fish 4 rockfish fillets, about 6 ounces each, preferably longline-caught from Neah Bay Kosher salt Extra virgin olive oil 1. Catherine M. Allchin, The Seattle Times, "After an epic ecological comeback, the local, versatile rockfish has become a restaurant rock star," 27 June 2018 Drizzle kale with extra virgin olive oil until well dressed. Kathryn Gregory, The Courier-Journal, "Celebrate Fourth of July with these Louisville chef throwback recipes," 2 July 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

25 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 \

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 \

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).


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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