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

Thank you to the visionary Ava DuVernay and Netflix for giving me the blessing to be a part of this act of restorative justice. Marcus Jones, EW.com, "Stars react to their 2019 Emmy nominations," 16 July 2019 Having taken La Blaugrana to their first continental triumph, Guardiola would go on to change our sport with his insightful and visionary understanding. SI.com, "La Masia: Ranking the 10 Greatest Graduates From Barcelona's Legendary Academy," 8 July 2019 But Dave Dixon was first and foremost a visionary -- and, conveniently, one heck of a salesman. Mike Scott, NOLA.com, "Dave Dixon, the father of the Superdome: 1 of 300," 19 Jan. 2018 Another visionary, Chip Kelly, left Oregon football years ago. oregonlive.com, "Canzano: Pat Casey officially out and Oregon State baseball will never be the same," 4 June 2019 Gawande was praised Wednesday by colleagues as a creative, visionary leader who has devoted his career to devising health-care solutions that can be widely adopted to improve surgery, childbirth and end-of-life care around the world. Washington Post, "The Health 202: Azar: We need to get migrant children out of HHS care as 'expeditiously' as possible," 21 June 2018 Where Gevers had mythologized himself as visionary thought leader, the report presented a long list of odd, dead-end projects. Gideon Lewis-kraus, WIRED, "The Blockchain: A Love Story—And a Horror Story," 18 June 2018 On one hand, Spotify debuted above private-market expectations this week and many are commending CEO Daniel Ek as a visionary leader for the company -- including those who were Ek's harshest skeptics just a few years earlier. Cherie Hu, Billboard, "Here's What Fans Need to Know About Spotify's Stock Market Debut," 5 Apr. 2018 This requires Democrats to come up with a plan that is striking and visionary enough that normal people stand a chance of actually hearing about and understanding it. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "House Democrats must resist Trump’s infrastructure trap," 9 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Black women hold key leadership and decision-making roles today, Conwill told the audience, standing on the shoulders of such visionaries as Harriet Tubman, Madam C.J. Walker, and Dr. Dorothy I. Height. Donna M. Owens, Essence, "Museum Summit For Black Women Draws Yara Shahidi, Stacey Abrams And More," 17 June 2019 The creators of these programs, all white men, formed a kind of princely pantheon of showrunners and were regularly grouped together by the press as mavericks and visionaries. Rachel Syme, The New Republic, "The Outlaw World of Deadwood," 6 June 2019 Life of a Secret Agent Shortly after Boyle’s departure, Cary Joji Fukunaga—the visionary behind the original True Detective and Maniac—was named his replacement. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "Bond 25: Everything We Know About the New James Bond Movie," 25 Apr. 2019 That’s the dream of certain Silicon Valley technologists and visionaries. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "We Are a Homicidal Species," 2 Nov. 2018 Inspired by Serge Lutens, a makeup artist, photographer, filmmaker, and visionary who served as the creative director for brands like Dior and Shiseido, Lottie decided to combine her graphic design experience with her love for beauty. Amber Kallor, Allure, "How Lottie Went From Being an Accountant to an A-List Makeup Artist," 20 Sep. 2018 And the visionary's vote of confidence in the 25-year-old wunderkind has, indeed, proven fruitful. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "This A$AP Rocky–Approved Artist Brought His Eye to NARS’s Latest Must-Have Makeup Collection," 27 Feb. 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

21 Jul 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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