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[vur-choo-oh-soh] /ˌvɜr tʃuˈoʊ soʊ/
noun, plural virtuosos, virtuosi
[vur-choo-oh-see] /ˌvɜr tʃuˈoʊ si/ (Show IPA)
a person who has special knowledge or skill in a field.
a person who excels in musical technique or execution.
a person who has a cultivated appreciation of artistic excellence, as a connoisseur or collector of objects of art, antiques, etc.
Obsolete. a person who has special interest or knowledge in the arts and sciences; scientist; scholar.
Also, virtuosic
[vur-choo-os-ik] /ˌvɜr tʃuˈɒs ɪk/ (Show IPA)
. of, relating to, or characteristic of a virtuoso:
a virtuoso performance.
Origin of virtuoso
1610-20; < Italian: versed, skilled < Late Latin virtuosus virtuous Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for virtuosi
Historical Examples
  • We had our virtuosi of the highest rank, our rich and noble authors in abundance.

    The English Spy Bernard Blackmantle
  • I would not barter memories of their music-making for a wilderness of virtuosi.

    Unicorns James Huneker
  • I knew that for virtuosi there were temptations and dangers that they were not all capable of overcoming.

    An Autobiography Igor Stravinsky
  • The greatest names among these virtuosi have in fact a Jewish sound.

    An Autobiography Igor Stravinsky
  • I, who was never stirred or pleased by the playing of virtuosi!

    The Dangerous Age Karin Michalis
  • It is far too difficult for most virtuosi, however talented they may be.

    Musical Memories Camille Saint-Sans
  • Piano composers and virtuosi, from Weber to the present time.

    For Every Music Lover Aubertine Woodward Moore
  • One of these virtuosi seemed to think that I might be an embryo, or abortive birth.

    Gulliver's Travels Jonathan Swift
  • In a little time he fell in debt; took up with virtuosi; began to read Voltaire, and talk against religion in his drink.

  • In the poet's words, he was the magnet who drew men of genius (virtuosi) from all parts of the world to Milan.

British Dictionary definitions for virtuosi


/ˌvɜːtjʊˈəʊzəʊ; -səʊ/
noun (pl) -sos, -si (-siː)
a consummate master of musical technique and artistry
a person who has a masterly or dazzling skill or technique in any field of activity
a connoisseur, dilettante, or collector of art objects
(obsolete) a scholar or savant
(modifier) showing masterly skill or brilliance: a virtuoso performance
Derived Forms
virtuosic (ˌvɜːtjʊˈɒsɪk) adjective
virtuosity, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Italian: skilled, from Late Latin virtuōsus good, virtuous; see virtue
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for virtuosi



1610s, "scholar, connoisseur," from Italian virtuoso (plural virtuosi), noun use of adjective meaning "skilled, learned, of exceptional worth," from Late Latin virtuosus (see virtuous). Meaning "person with great skill" (as in music) is first attested 1743.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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