[vir.tu.al] adj [ME, possessed of certain physical virtues, fr. ML virtualis, fr. L virtus strength, virtue] (1654) 1: being such in essence or effect though not formally recognized or admitted "a ~ dictator"
2: of, relating to, or using virtual memory
3: of, relating to, or being a hypothetical particle whose existence is inferred from indirect evidence "~ photons"--compare real 3