visionary

adjective
vi·​sion·​ary | \ ˈvi-zhə-ˌner-ē \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from visionary

Adjective

visionariness \ ˈvi-​zhə-​ˌner-​ē-​nəs \ 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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Rose was a peddler of entertainment, a salesman rather than a visionary. Ethan Mordden, WSJ, "‘Not Bad for Delancey Street’ Review: No Theater Was Big Enough," 6 Dec. 2018 As things turned out, he was lauded as a visionary about the growth of Central Florida tourism. Joy Wallace Dickinson, OrlandoSentinel.com, "New Winter Park exhibit highlights hotels and motels," 3 June 2018 People who have worked with Lightfoot call him a visionary. Lee Roop, AL.com, "Robert Lightfoot leaves NASA heights to land back home in Alabama," 1 May 2018 Henry Cole, the visionary founder of the V&A Museum, wanted as many viewers as possible to experience the delights of the Grand Tour. Richard Cork, WSJ, "Worthy Imitations Worth a Visit," 18 Dec. 2018 Men in Silicon Valley are considered visionary for wearing the same damn thing every day. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Stop Telling Women What to Wear to Work," 5 Dec. 2018 Take YouTuber Alissa Ashley, who recreated Rihanna's look by visionary makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Makeup Artist Alissa Ashley Recreated Rihanna's Vogue Cover and the Resemblance Is Uncanny," 8 Aug. 2018 On the cover of British Vogue's September issue, Rihanna, ever a beauty visionary, is wearing the tiniest, most over-the-top pencil thin brows to be seen on a celebrity in what feels like forever, and Twitter users are distressed. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "Rihanna Brought Back Skinny Brows, and the Internet Isn't Ready," 2 Aug. 2018 The visionary director Ivo van Hove storms the armory with his adaptation of Luchino Visconti’s screenplay, performed by actors of the Comédie-Française. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "12 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

From former first lady Michelle Obama to the founders of Black Lives Matter and musical visionaries like Janelle Monae and Missy Elliot, these women have all inspired me in their own way. Ola Ojewumi, SELF, "I'm Celebrating My Disabled Black Girl Magic Because I'm Done Feeling Invisible," 7 Nov. 2018 Russell was no less a revisionist, emerging as the premier rebounder and shot blocker of his time and becoming the visionary of the Celtics’ fabled fast break. David M. Shribman, WSJ, "‘The Last Pass’ Book Review: Passing Acquaintances," 16 Nov. 2018 His success made him a member of the elite club of visionaries who truly changed the world, and his passions fueled a second career as one of the greatest philanthropists of all time. Sean Quinton, The Seattle Times, "‘A pioneer. A visionary. A good man’: The world reacts to death of Seattle business and sports mogul Paul Allen," 15 Oct. 2018 That's certainly true in the heart of Cleveland, where musicians regularly pay homage to the visionaries who came before. Nicole Delamotte And Anne Nickoloff, cleveland.com, "'The Two Nicks' music podcast: Cleveland musicians on their Rock Hall inductee influences," 6 Apr. 2018 There is the visionary Joel Arthur Rosenthal, known as JAR and considered by many to be without equal, the Superman of the Super Jewelers. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "The Secret Global Network of Private Super Jewelers," 20 Sep. 2018 Apple’s rise has been propelled by the sustained success of the iPhone developed under late co-founder Steve Jobs, a product visionary who helped revive the company from a death spiral in the late 1990s. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Apple’s Market Cap Hits $1 Trillion," 2 Aug. 2018 As Lord Hobo toasted Woburn with beer and a brewery, some hotel visionaries were eyeing Woburn as a destination in need of a chic hotel. Christopher Muther, BostonGlobe.com, "Woburn? Yes, Woburn. It’s finding a new groove," 18 Apr. 2018 The Wall Street Journal asked automotive and artificial-intelligence visionaries for their predictions. Tim Higgins, WSJ, "How Driverless Cars Are Going to Change Cities," 26 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of visionary

Adjective

1648, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Noun

1702, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about visionary

Dictionary Entries near visionary

visile

vis inertiae

vision

visionary

visioned

visionist

visionless

Statistics for visionary

Last Updated

6 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for visionary

The first known use of visionary was in 1648

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
plural visionaries

Kids Definition of visionary

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on visionary

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

WORD OF THE DAY

involving abstract or general statements

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Liar, Liar Quiz

  • alt-5761dbe2ba986
  • Someone who pretends to be sick in order to avoid work is a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!