WHO SAID IT: A QUIZ ON PRESIDENTIAL WIT AND WISDOM
Words nearby virtually
What does virtually mean?
Virtually most generally means in effect but not in fact, as in Today, virtually all cell phones are smartphones. Close synonyms are nearly, practically, and just about—they all mean virtually the same thing.
Virtually is the adverb form of the adjective virtual, which is most generally used to describe something as being the same as something else in almost every way, except perhaps in name or some other minor, technical sense. For example, describing a company as a virtual monopoly means it’s pretty much a monopoly but not technically one, perhaps because it has a few minor competitors.
Virtual also commonly means simulated or extended by computer software. The word is used this way in virtual reality, which refers to a fully simulated environment. To render something virtually is to create a representation or simulation of it using a computer.
Sometimes, things described as virtual may not involve simulation at all, such as a virtual meeting or a virtual concert. The use of virtual in these phrases represents a more recent sense of the word that means something like “remote and via the internet” (especially when accessed via a live video feed).
Virtually can be used in the same way, as in I can’t make it into the office, but I’ll be working virtually.
Example: Virtually everyone agrees with the proposal—it has a 99.9% approval rating.
Where does virtually come from?
The first records of the word virtually come from around 1400. It comes from the Medieval Latin virtuālis, meaning “effective” (in the sense of having the effect of something without the form or appearance of it). The suffix -ly is used to create adverbs.
The word effectively can be used as a synonym of virtually in the same way as practically. Saying that something is virtually impossible means that in effect and for all practical purposes, it can’t be done, though it may technically be possible.
Recently, virtually has become more commonly used to describe experiencing something remotely via the internet, as in We plan to meet virtually using a video platform. Working virtually usually means the same thing as working remotely or working from home.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to virtually?
- virtual (adjective)
What are some synonyms for virtually?
What are some words that share a root or word element with virtually?
What are some words that often get used in discussing virtually?
How is virtually used in real life?
Virtually can be used in a few different ways, but it’s most commonly used to mean “nearly” or “practically.”
Behavioral economics. This picture is the most powerful illustration of how our minds can be deceived. The squares A and B are exactly the same shade. It’s virtually impossible to see this unless you block all the surroundings and see these squares through cut outs. Try it. pic.twitter.com/7lFNqMi5X8
— Kaushik Basu (@kaushikcbasu) May 23, 2018
The #2020Census will impact virtually every aspect of American life for the next decade, informing the distribution of $8 trillion in public funds for a range of social services. But it’s not all about money. The census is key to the allocation of political power. Read more. ⬇️
— Carnegie Corporation (@CarnegieCorp) August 26, 2020
— Teacher2Teacher (@teacher2teacher) August 6, 2020
Try using virtually!
Is virtually used correctly in the following sentence?
Virtually attending a concert is not nearly the same as being part of a live audience.
Example sentences from the Web for virtually
With Project PR, you’ll have the chance to be part of a first-of-its-kind running study and train virtually with thousands of people from all athletic backgrounds.
You’ve got a whole category of violations where there are virtually no consequences.Hundreds of Thousands of Nursing Home Residents May Not Be Able to Vote in November Because of the Pandemic|by Ryan McCarthy and Jack Gillum|August 26, 2020|ProPublica
The “social cost of carbon” is a concept virtually unknown outside of academia and federal agencies.The US government’s price on carbon doesn’t value the future much|Michael J. Coren|July 17, 2020|Quartz
This year we’re going to do 40 events because it’s so much easier to put on an event virtually and there’s revenue to be made there.South China Morning Post CEO Gary Liu on navigating a perilous time for Hong Kong|Pierre Bienaimé|July 14, 2020|Digiday
Persuading those processors to work together harmoniously is a pain in the neck but means we can quickly try out a lot of chemicals virtually.
Saved from the public gallows, Weeks was virtually exiled from the city, and wound up in Mississippi, where he raised a family.New York’s Most Tragic Ghost Loves Minimalist Swedish Fashion|Nina Strochlic|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
There was virtually no government oversight of safety and operational standards.
After decades of violence, flights to Kisangani are unpredictable and Western tourists are virtually unheard of.
In the 1960 campaign between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, there was virtually no discussion of crime.
Virtually all the southwestern gangs of Mexican heritage (Surenos or Southsiders) are under their control.The Mexican Mafia Is the Daddy of All Street Gangs|Seth Ferranti|December 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But he is virtually a prisoner in the south tower, guarded by my soldiers.A Witch Shall Be Born|Robert E. Howard
Hardly had he left Lima than the military chiefs in Peru virtually disavowed his authority.The South American Republics, Part II (of 2)|Thomas C. Dawson
You won't believe it, but people used to beg them to take over their property, tie up their incomes, virtually enslave them.The Syndic|C.M. Kornbluth
The captain had, in fact, virtually consented to sell me—it was only a question of price!Ran Away to Sea|Mayne Reid
Such is the language which the opponents of this bill have virtually employed.The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III.|E. Farr and E. H. Nolan