vir ‧ tu ‧ al AC /ˈvɜːtʃuəl $ ˈvɜːr-/ BrE AmE adjective [only before noun]
[ Word Family: adverb : ↑ virtually ; adjective : ↑ virtual ]
[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Medieval Latin ; Origin: virtualis 'having certain qualities or powers' , from Latin virtus ; ⇨ ↑ virtue ]
1 . very nearly a particular thing:
Car ownership is a virtual necessity when you live in the country.
Finding a cheap place to rent is a virtual impossibility in this area.
2 . made, done, seen etc on the Internet or on a computer, rather than in the real world:
The website allows you to take a virtual tour of the art gallery.
constructing virtual worlds
• • •
▪ artificial not real or natural, but made to look or work like something real or natural:
He was given an artificial heart.
▪ synthetic made using chemical processes rather than by natural processes:
a synthetic version of the drug
▪ man-made made by people – used especially about geographical features and materials:
a man-made lake
▪ fake made to look or seem like something else, especially in order to deceive people:
a fake passport
▪ imitation made to look like something, but not real – used especially about guns, jewellery, and leather:
▪ false artificial – used especially about teeth, ↑ eyelash es , and ↑ beard s :
a set of false teeth
▪ simulated not real, but made to look, sound, or feel real, especially by means of special computers or machines:
a simulated space flight
▪ virtual made, done, seen etc on a computer, rather than in the real world:
a virtual tour of the garden