vir·​tu·​os·​i·​ty ˌvər-chü-ˈä-sə-tē How to pronounce virtuosity (audio)
plural virtuosities
: great technical skill (as in the practice of a fine art)
: a taste for or interest in virtu

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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 Yet, no film had capitalized on his extraordinary range and virtuosity until American Fiction. Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Dec. 2023 This is heartfelt balladry spotlighting his almost lute-like virtuosity on guitar (both 6- and 12-string) and bouzouki (delicate, fragile, nothing Zorba-esque) and his mix of melancholy and introspection embodied in his earthy singing. Steve Hochman, SPIN, 3 Jan. 2024 Each note and guitar riff was a testament to his unparalleled talent and unmatched showmanship, leaving the audience in awe of his virtuosity. Shelby Stewart, Essence, 19 Dec. 2023 The novel seems to take its stylistic inspiration from the 13th-century text Samguk Yusa, a chronicle of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, as well as from the postmodern virtuosity of writers such as Thomas Pynchon and Roberto Bolaño. Krys Lee, The Atlantic, 15 Dec. 2023 Protect Your Light, the East Coast quintet’s first album for the legendary Impulse! label, keeps up the thrilling virtuosity and radiates a newfound warmth. Pitchfork, 14 Dec. 2023 Spending time with Ackerman reminded Story of both the camaraderie between and virtuosity of the core Windham Hill artists in the ‘80s, a vibe best captured on the essential 1982 album An Evening With Windham Hill Live. Jonathan Cohen, SPIN, 22 Nov. 2023 The Who were full of abandon, rockin’ hard and melodically brilliant; Jimi was musical voodoo and flamboyance incarnate; Cream was a showcase of bluesy virtuosity; but this? Geddy Lee, Rolling Stone, 14 Nov. 2023 That revelation brought him to a new dance language, inspired by the beauty and the virtuosity of his dancers, mostly self-trained in hip-hop and martial arts. Condé Nast, The New Yorker, 3 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'virtuosity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1673, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of virtuosity was in 1673

Dictionary Entries Near virtuosity

Cite this Entry

“Virtuosity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


vir·​tu·​os·​i·​ty ˌvər-chə-ˈwäs-ət-ē How to pronounce virtuosity (audio)
plural virtuosities
: great performing ability in the fine arts

More from Merriam-Webster on virtuosity

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