vis·ta | \ ˈvi-stə \

Definition of vista 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a distant view through or along an avenue or opening : prospect

2 : an extensive mental view (as over a stretch of time or a series of events)



Definition of VISTA (Entry 2 of 3)

Volunteers in Service to America


geographical name
Vis·ta | \ ˈvis-tə \

Definition of Vista (Entry 3 of 3)

city in southwestern California north of San Diego population 93,834

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Did You Know?

Vista is generally used today for broad sweeping views of the kind you might see from a mountaintop. But the word originally meant an avenue-like view, narrowed by a line of trees on either side. And vista has also long been used (like view and outlook) to mean a mental scan of the future—as if you were riding down a long grand avenue and what you could see a mile or so ahead of you was where you'd be in the very near future.

Examples of vista in a Sentence


a gorgeous vista of the mountains from the front window

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Even Cadillac Mountain—the highest point on the East Coast—has a short trail to vistas of Frenchman Bay and the Porcupine Islands. Samantha Lefave, Outside Online, "The Best National Parks for Those with Disabilities," 1 July 2018 The atmospheric rooftop has an infinity pool with a sweeping vista of the city and music to set the mood. Kristin Braswell, Sunset, "10 Best Trips to Mexico for Your Travel Personality," 22 Jan. 2018 In all, about 200 environmentalists, federal officials, park managers and rangers came out to mark the milestone and take in a new postcard vista. Curtis Morgan, miamiherald, "A bridge to help heal the Everglades," 19 Mar. 2013 In Melissa Brunning’s Facebook stream of vacation photos, her memories of gorgeous cliffside vistas and Australian waters mesh seamlessly with cellphone footage of a shark nearly biting her finger off. Avi Selk, Washington Post, "She wanted to hand-feed a shark but then aghh no not like that why???," 2 July 2018 Nature supplied most subjects — butterflies, sunsets, ocean vistas — but homey images sometimes appeared. Peter Rowe,, "Cindy Marten's fortune: leading San Diego Unified forward while suffering personal setbacks," 24 June 2018 And the lavish and loving vistas the director crafted throughout La La Land will likely create a handful of chills when applied to this historic mission. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Trailer: 20th century’s greatest technical achievement goes Hollywood in First Man," 11 June 2018 Spanning 80 miles over the screensaver-worthy desert landscape of Canyonlands National Park in Utah, the White Rim Trail features some of the most idyllic vistas in the American Southwest. Hans Aschim, Popular Mechanics, "What It’s Like to Be in 105-Degree Heat for 5 Days," 8 June 2018 With sweeping views from Santa Monica Bay to the San Gabriel Mountains, each vantage point is selfie-worthy, but the final stop, Christine’s Point, proffers the most primo vista. Garrett Snyder, Los Angeles Magazine, "This Spectacular Park Is One of L.A.’s Most Undervalued Retreats," 31 May 2018

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


1644, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vista


Italian, sight, from visto, past participle of vedere to see, from Latin vidēre — more at wit

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Learn More about vista

Dictionary Entries near vista






vista dome


Statistics for vista

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vista

The first known use of vista was in 1644

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More Definitions for vista



English Language Learners Definition of vista

: a large and beautiful view of an area of land or water

: a large number of things that may be possible in the future


vis·ta | \ ˈvi-stə \

Kids Definition of vista

: a large and scenic view in the distance a breathtaking mountain vista

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Comments on vista

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

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