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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Drayton began his career as a salary man, not a visionary. Arianne Cohen, Bloomberg.com, "If You Want to Change the World, You Need the Kids," 7 May 2018 That’s not to say that Mr. Loughery portrays his subject as a heroic visionary with views far in advance of his time. Terry Golway, WSJ, "‘Dagger John’ Review: Calling Bigotry By Its Name," 8 July 2018 Watch the trailer: Love, Cecil is not Vreeland’s first documentary about a visionary artist. Spencer Whaley, Town & Country, "The Secret Life of Cecil Beaton, the Royal Family's Favorite Photographer," 28 June 2018 Their demand that all Black lives have value was simple, yet visionary — especially in its call to highlight the most marginalized Black lives, including LGBTQ folks, women, and Black immigrant lives. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "TEACHING FOR BLACK LIVES," 10 July 2018 Larry was a visionary, a mentor, a philosopher, and a passionate advocate for Burning Man's culture and principles. CBS News, "Larry Harvey: Burning Man festival co-founder dead at 70," 28 Apr. 2018 In a statement, Amazon CEO Worldwide Consumer, Jeff Wilke said: PillPack’s visionary team has a combination of deep pharmacy experience and a focus on technology... Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Amazon buying online pharmacy with nationwide reach; drug store stocks dive," 28 June 2018 John started 2018 as Jim from The Office and has emerged as a bona fide visionary and respected filmmaker. USA TODAY, "Meghan Markle, Adam Rippon, Issa Rae hit 'Time' 100 Most Influential list," 19 Apr. 2018 Their vision of utopia was one in which society’s most visionary individuals — selected through the meritocracy of market competition — would determine how much, and what kind, of social provisions would be distributed through non-market means. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Amazon Should Not Be in Charge of Solving Our Health-Care Crisis," 30 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 For me, the CEO might be more the creative visionary, not the person who's running the company. Hans Aschim, Esquire, "How a Pro Snowboarder Created Those Headphones You See Everywhere," 18 May 2017 Victoria Dockside’s visionary is a third-generation business tycoon and art patron, Adrian Cheng. Kathy Chin Leong, New York Times, "Aging Hong Kong Waterfront Gets a Face-Lift," 26 June 2018 However, visionaries at Sidewalk have been dreaming of such a project -- brainstorming ideas, scouting locations and discussing possibilities for an art-house cinema -- for about 20 years. Mary Colurso, AL.com, "Ready for more indie movies in Birmingham? Sidewalk plans $5 million cinema and film center," 3 May 2018 Its deranged visionary of a CEO, the bro-y, coked-out Steve Lift (a role Hammer was destined to play) offers people lifetime employment, housing, and food in exchange for non-stop labor. Jason Parham, WIRED, "Sorry to Bother You: A Dizzying Satire That Hungers for Truth," 7 July 2018 What the Countach really offers is a counterpoint to the Steve Jobs model: the notion that a team leader who inspires genius must be a hard-driving visionary who relishes getting into the weeds. Sam Walker, WSJ, "In Chasing Perfection, Ferruccio Lamborghini Took the Fast Lane," 31 May 2018 But when a high school science teacher put a computer in front of him and created a competitive video gaming club, a visionary was born. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Shonda Rhimes's Scandal Changed Television," 20 Apr. 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.

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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

10 Nov 2018

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 \
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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