- being such in power, force, or effect, though not actually or expressly such: a virtual dependence on charity.
- noting an image formed by the apparent convergence of rays geometrically, but not actually, prolonged, as the image formed by a mirror (opposed to real).
- noting a focus of a system forming virtual images.
- temporarily simulated or extended by computer software: a virtual disk in RAM; virtual memory on a hard disk.
- having the essence or effect but not the appearance or form ofa virtual revolution
- physics being, relating to, or involving a virtual imagea virtual focus
- computing of or relating to virtual storagevirtual memory
- of or relating to a computer technique by which a person, wearing a headset or mask, has the experience of being in an environment created by the computer, and of interacting with and causing changes in it
- rare capable of producing an effect through inherent power or virtue
- physics designating or relating to a particle exchanged between other particles that are interacting by a field of forcea virtual photon See also exchange force
late 14c., “influencing by physical virtues or capabilities,” from Medieval Latin virtualis, from Latin virtus “excellence, potency, efficacy,” literally “manliness, manhood” (see virtue). The meaning of “being something in essence or fact, though not in name” is first recorded 1650s, probably via sense of “capable of producing a certain effect” (early 15c.). Computer sense of “not physically existing but made to appear by software” is attested from 1959.