vir·​tu·​os·​i·​ty | \ ˌvər-chü-ˈä-sə-tē How to pronounce virtuosity (audio) \
plural virtuosities

Definition of virtuosity

1 : great technical skill (as in the practice of a fine art)
2 : a taste for or interest in virtu

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Did You Know?

Virtuosity is used particularly to describe musicians, but also often for writers, actors, dancers, and athletes. A virtuoso is a highly skilled performer, and a virtuoso performance is one that astonishes the audience by its feats. In ancient Greece the cities would hold male competitions in acrobatics, conjuring, public reciting, blowing the trumpet, and acting out scenes from Homer's epics, the winners of which would have been praised as virtuous, or "full of manly virtues".

Examples of virtuosity in a Sentence

Her virtuosity on the piano is amazing.

Recent Examples on the Web

Bebop demanded new levels of virtuosity in terms of speed, precision, and command of harmony. Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press, "'Jazz from Detroit': Exclusive excerpt from new book about city's remarkable jazz legacy," 30 June 2019 Wendy Carlos used her virtuosity and open mindedness to take classical tropes, electrify them and have them represent violence,horror and mental and societal illness. Nick Williams, Billboard, "Listen to Xiu Xiu's Summer of Pride Playlist for the 'Introverted & Unsocial'," 24 June 2019 The performances showed how effectively people with no pretense of virtuosity can make agreeable music come to life and reveal its significance. Neil Genzlinger,, "Michael Jaffee, who cofounded early-music group, dies at 81," 23 June 2019 Beloved gay pop isn’t always wrapped in rainbows, but in exuberance, rawness, poise, virtuosity — the audacity of radiating absolute emotional freedom. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "For Taylor Swift, Is Ego Stronger Than Pride?," 18 June 2019 Both possessed verbal virtuosity and both were perhaps fatally undiplomatic, Miranda told the magazine. 15. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Here comes 'Hamilton': What you need know about the musical coming to Baltimore that took over the world," 21 June 2019 One of three Cher impersonators on display, Block stands out for the genuineness of her virtuosity. Charles Mcnulty,, "Tony Awards: A critic celebrates Broadway's unabashed idealism," 9 June 2019 Evans added a degree of grit and deep-seated virtuosity to the proceedings, his new role in the band also landing him on the cover of April’s DownBeat magazine, alongside compatriots Reid Anderson and Dave King. Howard Reich,, "From Henry Johnson to 'Tootie' Heath to Patricia Barber, a busy jazz week in Chicago," 5 Apr. 2018 Only one of the interpretations, however, rose above virtuosity guided by conscientiou2s preparation. Alan Artner,, "Pianist David Fray rises above the CSO's dose of more of the same," 23 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'virtuosity.' 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 virtuosity

1673, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Dictionary Entries near virtuosity







virtuous circle

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Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for virtuosity

The first known use of virtuosity was in 1673

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English Language Learners Definition of virtuosity

formal : great ability or skill shown by a musician, performer, etc.

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More from Merriam-Webster on virtuosity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with virtuosity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for virtuosity

Spanish Central: Translation of virtuosity

Nglish: Translation of virtuosity for Spanish Speakers

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characterized by aphorism

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