virtual

adjective vir·tu·al \ ˈvər-chə-wəl , -chəl ; ˈvərch-wəl \
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

Definition of virtual

1 : being such in essence or effect though not formally recognized or admitted
  • a virtual dictator
2 : being on or simulated on a computer or computer network
  • print or virtual books
  • a virtual keyboard
: such as
a : occurring or existing primarily online
  • virtual shopping
b : of, relating to, or existing within a virtual reality
  • a virtual tour
3 : of, relating to, or using virtual memory
4 : of, relating to, or being a hypothetical particle whose existence is inferred from indirect evidence
  • virtual photons
— compare real 3

Examples of virtual in a Sentence

  1. The Web site provides a virtual tour of the stadium.

Recent Examples of virtual from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of virtual

Middle English, efficacious, potential, from Medieval Latin virtualis, from Latin virtus strength, virtue

Other Computer-Related Terms


VIRTUAL Defined for English Language Learners

virtual

adjective

Definition of virtual for English Language Learners

  • : very close to being something without actually being it

  • : existing or occurring on computers or on the Internet


VIRTUAL Defined for Kids

virtual

adjective vir·tu·al \ ˈvər-chə-wəl \

Definition of virtual for Students

: being in effect but not in fact or name : close to but not quite something
  • Rain is a virtual certainty today.

virtually

adverb
  • This animal is rare and has virtually disappeared in the wild.

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to provide what is needed to exist

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