visionary

adjective
vi·​sion·​ary | \ ˈvi-zhə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce visionary (audio) \

Definition of visionary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having or marked by foresight and imagination a visionary leader a visionary invention
2a : of the nature of a vision : illusory
b : incapable of being realized or achieved : utopian a visionary scheme
c : existing only in imagination : unreal
3a : able or likely to see visions
b : disposed to reverie or imagining : dreamy
4 : of, relating to, or characterized by visions or the power of vision

visionary

noun
plural visionaries

Definition of visionary (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one having unusual foresight and imagination a visionary in the computer industry
2 : one whose ideas or projects are impractical : dreamer
3 : one who sees visions : seer

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Other Words from visionary

Adjective

visionariness \ ˈvi-​zhə-​ˌner-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce visionariness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for visionary

Adjective

imaginary, fanciful, visionary, fantastic, chimerical, quixotic mean unreal or unbelievable. imaginary applies to something which is fictitious and purely the product of one's imagination. an imaginary desert isle fanciful suggests the free play of the imagination. a teller of fanciful stories visionary stresses impracticality or incapability of realization. visionary schemes fantastic implies incredibility or strangeness beyond belief. a fantastic world inhabited by monsters chimerical combines the implication of visionary and fantastic. chimerical dreams of future progress quixotic implies a devotion to romantic or chivalrous ideals unrestrained by ordinary prudence and common sense. a quixotic crusade

How Should You Use visionary?

A visionary is someone with a strong vision of the future. Since such visions aren't always accurate, a visionary's ideas may either work brilliantly or fail miserably. Even so, visionary is usually a positive word. Martin Luther King, Jr., for instance, was a visionary in his hopes and ideas for a just society. The word is also an adjective; thus, for example, we may speak of a visionary project, a visionary leader, a visionary painter, or a visionary company.

Examples of visionary in a Sentence

Adjective

She is known as a visionary leader. He had a visionary experience.

Noun

She's a visionary in her field. according to Greek myth, Cassandra was a visionary who was endowed with the gift of inerrant prophecy but fated to never be believed
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Even at the peak of her powers, Mrs Merkel was more a crisis manager than a visionary leader. The Economist, "Wurst among equals," 11 July 2019 The museum’s industrialist of the year honor is named for the city’s former mayor and recognizes and celebrates visionary business leaders. baltimoresun.com, "Lifebridge CEO Neil Meltzer named industrialist of the year by Baltimore Museum of Inustry," 13 June 2019 In addition to being a visionary, Poppen was a civic-minded philanthropist. John Meyer, The Denver Post, "The “grandfather of snowboarding” Sherman Poppen dies at 89," 6 Aug. 2019 Michigan has lost a leader and a visionary, but his legacy will live on. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "How Michigan is remembering Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson," 3 Aug. 2019 Honnold is an eccentric and obsessive visionary, oblivious to the protocols and niceties of social interaction. Hannah Rosefield, The New Yorker, "Do Good Climbers Make Good Capitalists?," 22 July 2019 Karl Lagerfeld was a visionary right until the end. Kristina O'neill, Harper's BAZAAR, "Karl Lagerfeld in 24 Hours," 19 Feb. 2019 Yves Béhar and Dieter Rams — who was much admired by Steve Jobs and was the visionary behind so many of Braun’s products (including my dad’s broken electric razor) — both come to mind. James Bareham, The Verge, "Jony Ive made the entire tech world care about design," 29 June 2019 The stereotype of the visionary male founder dominates Silicon Valley. Jessica Rosenworcel, WIRED, "To Really 'Disrupt,' Tech Needs to Listen to Actual Researchers," 26 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Ahead of this year’s edition, Barrera is confident that LALIFF can act as a one-stop shop for the industry to engage with Latinx pioneers and one-of-a-kind visionaries. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, "Latinx is the focus of reinvigorated Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival," 30 July 2019 Bold public enterprise has retreated, and visionaries like Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann—who transformed Paris with dazzling avenues, parks and other lasting renovations between 1853 and 1870—are few and far between. Shlomo Angel, WSJ, "‘City of Light’ Review: The Man Who Lit Up Paris," 1 Feb. 2019 Doris Johnson was also among the visionaries who foresaw FM 149 one day becoming a major thoroughfare connecting greater Houston to outside areas. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "Pioneer chamber leader Doris Johnson, creator of Tomball Christmas Parade, dies at 87," 2 Aug. 2019 Visitors can learn about the visionary who dreamed up Lotusland, Ganna Walska. Emily Young, Los Angeles Times, "Beloved Japanese garden reopens at Lotusland in Montecito — but good luck getting in," 26 July 2019 Morgan Neville knows a thing or two about singular visionaries. Sarah Rodman, EW.com, "Won't You Be My Neighbor? director sets his sights on Rick Rubin in new Showtime series," 13 July 2019 The design visionary achieved a kind of creative mind-meld with company co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs to devise the minimalist, space-age look of transformative gadgets like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "Why it’s so dangerous when star employees check out," 2 July 2019 Also, the Soviet program relied enormously on one visionary, chief rocket designer Sergei Korolev. Jamie Turner, cleveland.com, "11 things you might not know about Apollo 11 and the Space Race: Apollo 11 at 50," 17 July 2019 Needing ambassadors like Eddy to bind this increasingly sprawling empire together with a shared sense of mission, Aramco assembled a legion of visionaries. Darren Dochuk, The New Republic, "Men of God and the Genesis of the U.S.-Saudi Relationship," 17 July 2019

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

Adjective

1648, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Noun

1702, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Learn More about visionary

Dictionary Entries near visionary

visile

vis inertiae

vision

visionary

visioned

visionist

visionless

Statistics for visionary

Last Updated

1 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for visionary

The first known use of visionary was in 1648

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More Definitions for visionary

visionary

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of visionary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having or showing clear ideas about what should happen or be done in the future
: having or showing a powerful imagination
: of or relating to something that is seen or imagined in a dream or vision (sense 3)

visionary

noun

English Language Learners Definition of visionary (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who has clear ideas about what should happen or be done in the future
: a person who has a powerful imagination
: a person who sees visions (sense 3)

visionary

noun
vi·​sion·​ary | \ ˈvi-zhə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce visionary (audio) \
plural visionaries

Kids Definition of visionary

: a person who has an exceptional ability to plan or have ideas for the future

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Comments on visionary

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