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 website provides a virtual tour of the stadium.
Recent Examples on the Web Shareholders at Under Armour’s virtual annual meeting Wednesday heard how the athletic apparel maker wrapped up a multi-year turnaround to reposition the brand but still faces ongoing struggles from the pandemic. Lorraine Mirabella, Baltimore Sun, 11 May 2022 Workshops and a virtual public meeting have been held to gather public feedback on the project. David Dekunder, San Antonio Express-News, 10 May 2022 The virtual meeting was attended by representatives of all county cities except Coronado, Encinitas, Poway and Imperial Beach. Gary Warth, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 May 2022 The ceremony — once again being hosted by Richard Ayoade — marks the return to a fully in-person event, with a red carpet and audience, after two years of mostly virtual or hybrid awards due to the pandemic. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 May 2022 Following a virtual meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the United States and the Group of 7 leaders announced a new round of sanctions against Russia on Sunday as allies continue to pressure Moscow into ending the war. Editors, USA TODAY, 8 May 2022 At a virtual meeting of Republicans on Jan. 11, 2021, before Biden's inauguration, lawmakers discussed ways to assuage Trump's anger over the outcome of the election. Bill Bowden, Arkansas Online, 7 May 2022 President Joe Biden is expected to attend a virtual meeting of the Group of Seven world leaders Sunday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a guest, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday. NBC News, 7 May 2022 Through technological devices, such as smartphones, virtual reality headsets, microphones and digital glasses, users will be able to access 3D virtual experiences. Bob Mckay, Forbes, 6 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Virtual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for virtual


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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