vir·​tu·​os·​i·​ty | \ ˌvər-chü-ˈä-sə-tē \
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

Today, Dolce & Gabbana attempted to reclaim control of its present by showing a collection that displayed its artistic and technical virtuosity to the full. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "Dolce & Gabbana Presents an Alta Moda Lesson on Italian Art History," 8 Dec. 2018 Jones’ all-over-the-keys virtuosity dominates, but Penn is not shy about producing a fat tone and vivid attacks. Howard Reich,, "Penn & Teller pianist Mike Jones cuts album with Penn on bass," 20 Mar. 2018 My kid could do this.’ Tate’s work lacks any obvious effort at virtuosity, but his central obsession — that chaos, often delivered at the hands of the natural world, is forever intruding on the mundane — will shake you. New York Times, "New & Noteworthy," 19 June 2018 Where Tchaikovsky’s concerto dazzles with surface-level pyrotechnics, Mozart’s calls for more understated virtuosity. Joshua Barone, New York Times, "Review: Lang Lang, Classical Music’s Superstar, Returns Quietly," 8 July 2018 And therein lies the virtuosity and complexity of the artist born Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr., a performer who has reinvented himself perhaps more than any other pop star. Gerrick D. Kennedy,, "Snoop Dogg's latest reinvention is heaven-sent," 30 Mar. 2018 The first is Lesley Manville’s breathtaking performance as Mary Tyrone, who is played not as an excuse for flamboyant virtuosity but as a credible wife and mother imprisoned in addiction. Matt Cooper,, "The week ahead in SoCal theater: 'The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui' and more," 22 June 2018 This staple of the cello repertoire demands both virtuosity and sensitivity from the soloist. Jessica Rudman,, "HSO Plays A Superb Shostakovich Program To Two Standing Ovations," 5 May 2018 After intermission, the orchestra again displayed its virtuosity in Mozart's Symphony No. Rick Schultz,, "L.A. Chamber Orchestra musicians offer a fitting remembrance for one of their own," 22 May 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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Last Updated

26 Dec 2018

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The first known use of virtuosity was in 1673

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English Language Learners Definition of virtuosity

: 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

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Spanish Central: Translation of virtuosity

Nglish: Translation of virtuosity for Spanish Speakers

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