vir·​tu·​al | \ ˈvər-chə-wəl How to pronounce virtual (audio) , -chəl; ˈvərch-wəl \

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 sense 3

Examples of virtual in a Sentence

The Web site provides a virtual tour of the stadium.
Recent Examples on the Web The company has planned a series of events and celebrations for its associates and will host a virtual event for all associates to come together and talk openly, a spokesperson told USA TODAY. Keira Wingate, USA TODAY, 18 June 2021 General Motors is also a sponsor of the Juneteenth Foundation's Freedom Festival, a two-day virtual event which will feature panels reflecting on the day's significance as well as a Freedom Concert. Sophie Dodd,, 18 June 2021 The virtual event will be live streamed at 8:30 p.m. and viewed from the city’s website, Facebook, Ch. 78 and the city’s YouTube channel. Kari Barnett,, 17 June 2021 There will also be a virtual volunteer event with Art for Social Equity benefitting National CARES, a nonprofit led by former Essence Editorial Director, Susan L. Taylor, that serves youth of color through mentorship. NBC News, 16 June 2021 As part of the Next 1000 initiative, Forbes is hosting a virtual event series, presented by Square, to celebrate the honorees. Forbes Press Releases, Forbes, 16 June 2021 The celebration, which returns to Southlake Town Square after COVID-19 downsized the tradition to a virtual event last year, is set to begin on July 3 at 6 p.m. Anna Caplan, Dallas News, 16 June 2021 The effort will kick off with a June 23 virtual hiring event where job seekers can hear from companies about their opportunities. Melissa Yeager, The Arizona Republic, 16 June 2021 The day after the season finale, Citi will host an exclusive, hour-long virtual event on June 17. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, 16 June 2021

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.

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First Known Use of virtual

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for virtual

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

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Time Traveler for virtual

Time Traveler

The first known use of virtual was in the 15th century

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Statistics for virtual

Last Updated

20 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Virtual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for virtual



English Language Learners Definition of virtual

: very close to being something without actually being it
: existing or occurring on computers or on the Internet


vir·​tu·​al | \ ˈvər-chə-wəl How to pronounce virtual (audio) \

Kids Definition of virtual

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

Other Words from virtual

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


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