noun vir·tu·o·so \ ˌvər-chü-ˈō-(ˌ)sō , -(ˌ)zō \
Updated on: 23 Feb 2018

Definition of virtuoso

plural virtuosos or virtuosi play \ˌvər-chü-ˈō-(ˌ)sē, -(ˌ)zē\
1 : one who excels in the technique of an art; especially : a highly skilled musical performer (as on the violin)
2 : an experimenter or investigator especially in the arts and sciences : savant
3 : one skilled in or having a taste for the fine arts
4 : a person who has great skill at some endeavor
  • a computer virtuoso


play \ˌvər-chü-ˈō-sik, -zik\ adjective



virtuoso was our Word of the Day on 05/07/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of virtuoso in a Sentence

  1. He's a real virtuoso in the kitchen.

Recent Examples of virtuoso from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'virtuoso.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

English speakers borrowed the Italian noun virtuoso in the 1600s. It comes in turn from the Italian adjective virtuoso, which means both "virtuous" and "skilled." In English, virtuoso can be pluralized as either virtuosos or virtuosi, and it is often used attributively ("a virtuoso performer"). The first virtuosos were individuals of substantial knowledge and learning ("great wits," to quote one 17th-century clergyman). The word was then transferred to those skilled in the fine arts, and by the 18th century it had acquired its specific sense applied to musicians. In the 20th century, English speakers broadened virtuoso again to apply to a person skilled in any pursuit.

Origin and Etymology of virtuoso

Italian, from virtuoso, adjective, virtuous, skilled, from Late Latin virtuosus virtuous, from Latin virtus

VIRTUOSO Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of virtuoso for English Language Learners

  • : a person who does something in a very skillful way; especially : a very skillful musician

VIRTUOSO Defined for Kids


noun vir·tu·o·so \ ˌvər-chə-ˈwō-sō , -zō \

Definition of virtuoso for Students

plural virtuosos or virtuosi \-sē, -zē\
: a person who is an outstanding performer especially in music
  • a piano virtuoso

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