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

Dress simply with lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Martha Holmberg, Washington Post, "How to push fresh herbs beyond the garnish: Use with abundance and abandon," 5 July 2019 This creamy, spicy, fresh-as-hell, vibrantly green dip is just a bunch of fresh herbs blended with lemon juice, chiles, fresh herbs, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, then whisked together with some creamy-dreamy tahini. Christina Chaey, Bon Appétit, "Forget the House Cocktail, I Have a House Dip," 5 July 2019 Zest and juice of 2 oranges 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary leaves 2 large eggs, beaten 1 cup Greek yogurt 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 cups self rising flour Confectioners’ sugar, to dust Instructions: Heat the oven to 325 degrees., "Recipe: Orange and Rosemary Olive Oil Cake," 5 June 2019 The virgin in the relief is praying while the angel holds the child. Brenda Cronin, WSJ, "Leonardo in an Art Workshop: The Boy Most Likely to Succeed," 15 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Sixty million olive trees are found in the Jaén province, making it the largest producer of extra virgin olive oil in the country. Susan B. Barnes, Condé Nast Traveler, "Andalucía By Bike: A Cycling Adventure Through Spain’s Olive Oil Region," 21 June 2019 Generally, though, extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil are healthier cooking oils. Samantha Cassetty, NBC News, "Everything you need to know about fats, according to a registered dietitian," 17 June 2019 Simply dressed with high quality extra virgin olive oil, Himalayan sea salt, crack of peppercorn and squeeze of lemon. Patrick May, The Mercury News, "Why your favorite spicy sauce is in court again," 13 June 2019 California now produces some stellar extra virgin olive oils, but few begin from the Mission. Bill St. John, The Denver Post, "Marinating olives, Sicilian style and simply," 12 June 2019 Extra-virgin olive oil is sourced from an award-winning cooperative mill, Almazaras de la Subbetica, which is stamped with the Priego de Cordoba Protected Designation of Origin. Sheryl Julian,, "A tiny factory in southern Spain fries potato chips in award-winning olive oil for chef Jose Andres," 10 June 2019 Second only to a mere squeeze of fresh lemon, a trickle of extra virgin olive oil may be the simplest sauce. Bill St. John, The Denver Post, "The art of finishing sauces for fish," 5 June 2019 Now, nearly 20 years after tasting some extra virgin olive oil on a trip to Italy and deciding to give importing a whirl, Dixon, 66, is ready to open his first real store to the general public. Michael Russell,, "Real Good Food’s first store to feature fine olive oil, vermouth on tap," 4 June 2019 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

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

8 Jul 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

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a small bunch of flowers

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