vi·​sa | \ ˈvē-zə How to pronounce visa (audio) also -sə How to pronounce visa (audio) \

Definition of visa

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an endorsement made on a passport by the proper authorities denoting that it has been examined and that the bearer may proceed
2 : a signature of formal approval by a superior upon a document


visaed\ ˈvē-​zəd How to pronounce visaed (audio) , -​səd \; visaing\ ˈvē-​zə-​iŋ How to pronounce visaing (audio) , -​sə-​ \

Definition of visa (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to give a visa to (a passport)

Examples of visa in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Ecuador imposed a visa requirement on Venezuelans fleeing the chaos in their country. The Economist, "Politics this week," 31 Aug. 2019 Perhaps the biggest symbolic reward of all would involve the U.S. giving a concrete timeline to finally lifting visa requirements for Poles traveling to the U.S. Vanessa Gera,, "Trump cancels Poland trip because of hurricane," 30 Aug. 2019 China sometimes withholds or refuses visas to punish international news organizations for what the ruling Communist Party perceives as unfavorable coverage. Gerry Shih, Washington Post, "China expels Wall Street Journal reporter over coverage of Xi’s family," 30 Aug. 2019 The New York Times reported students from various countries were facing issues with visas. Rachel Leingang, USA TODAY, "9 Arizona State students from China detained at LA airport, denied admission to U.S.," 30 Aug. 2019 Past immigration policies have been blatantly racist, and current visa requirements for those from developing countries are also among the world’s most restrictive. Lila Maclellan, Quartz, "Canada’s elaborate citizenship ceremonies would be indoctrination if held anywhere else," 29 Aug. 2019 Ixcell and her mother moved back to Mexico in 2010 when Dalia’s visa expired, according to KABC. Char Adams,, "14-Year-Old Endures Cancer Treatment Alone Because Mom Is Not Allowed to Cross U.S. Border," 28 Aug. 2019 Immigrants who use various welfare programs — including non-cash assistance such as food stamps and Medicaid — will have a harder time getting visas. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 22 Aug. 2019 Visa issues have haunted other e-sports in the region as well, due to the complicated nature of the US and UK’s visa application processes. Aron Garst, The Verge, "Illegal tournaments and rejected visas: Team Vietnam’s long road to the PUBG Nations Cup," 20 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Infosys and its larger rival, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., also face a U.S. administration that’s cracking down on the work visas the companies need to serve key American clients. Fortune, "Infosys Offers to Buy Back $2 Billion of Shares as CEO Quits," 19 Aug. 2017 Palmer accused Infosys of illegally using business visitor visas known as B-1 to fill positions in the United States. Moni Basu, CNN, "Why the highly coveted visa that changed my life is now reviled in America," 4 June 2017

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


1831, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1847, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for visa


French, from Latin, neuter plural of visus, past participle

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Dictionary Entries near visa

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Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for visa

The first known use of visa was in 1831

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English Language Learners Definition of visa

: an official mark or stamp on a passport that allows someone to enter or leave a country usually for a particular reason


vi·​sa | \ ˈvē-zə, -sə How to pronounce visa (audio) \

Legal Definition of visa

: an endorsement made on a passport by the proper authorities denoting that it has been examined and that the bearer may proceed

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More from Merriam-Webster on visa

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with visa

Spanish Central: Translation of visa

Nglish: Translation of visa for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of visa for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about visa

Comments on visa

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


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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