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

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 At this time, nobody renders those with more sharpness and virtuosity than Lori McKenna, songwriter and singer. Barry Mazor, WSJ, "‘The Tree’ Review: Fertile Country," 25 July 2018 Not that any of the composers specified so high a degree of power and virtuosity. Alan Artner,, "Evgeny Kissin and the Emerson String Quartet ride the wave to a perfect ending," 16 Apr. 2018 Lady Gaga’s virtuosity may not constitute breaking news; what’s remarkable is her dramatic range. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘A Star Is Born’ Review: A Brilliant Reincarnation," 1 Oct. 2018 Romeo — a taxing role — appears extensively throughout all three acts, with both heroic partnering and expansive dance virtuosity. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "4 Buzzy ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Debuts, 1 Fainthearted Production," 15 June 2018 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

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

13 Jun 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

Comments on virtuosity

What made you want to look up virtuosity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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