WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH virtuallyfiguratively, literally, virtually
Words nearby virtually
MORE ABOUT 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.
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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
Here's Q1! When you’re in class – either virtually or in-person – how do you want your students to feel? #T2Tchat pic.twitter.com/NFtS5JglHa
— 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.
How to use virtually in a sentence
Lower-tier institutions have seen virtually no change in application numbers.UK Universities Predicted a COVID-19 Crash. They Got the Opposite|Fiona Zublin|September 17, 2020|Ozy
Even with a substantial list price of $45, A Promised Land is virtually guaranteed to sell millions of copies, and has an announced first printing of 3 million.The first volume of Barack Obama’s long-awaited memoir finally has a release date|Rachel King|September 17, 2020|Fortune
This year’s event will be held virtually, so you can join from wherever you are.Hear from Innovator of the Decade Marc Benioff at EmTech MIT|Caroline da Cunha|September 2, 2020|MIT Technology Review
Internet speed limits and other restrictions remain active, making many online services virtually unusable and the road to recovery even longer—especially during the coronavirus pandemic.Podcast: How a 135-year-old law lets India shutdown the internet|Anthony Green|September 2, 2020|MIT Technology Review
Since we’re living on the road full-time and cooking virtually every meal, and since we have a few different power options, including a small generator, the Traeger has become our new go-to.5 Portable Grills for All Your Outdoor Cooking Needs|Amy Marturana Winderl|September 2, 2020|Outside Online
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.Who Will Get AsiaAir 8501’s Black Boxes?|Clive Irving|December 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
After decades of violence, flights to Kisangani are unpredictable and Western tourists are virtually unheard of.The Congo's Forgotten Colonial Getaway|Nina Strochlic|December 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Despite virtually unlimited resources, Team Cosby has been losing the PR war.Team Cosby’s Mission Impossible|Lloyd Grove|December 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In the 1960 campaign between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, there was virtually no discussion of crime.The GOP and Police Unions: A Love Story|Eleanor Clift|December 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He also states that the Audiencia is virtually non-existent, and so there is no high court in which justice may be sought.
This is a conquered city, virtually if not nominally in a state of siege, without assignable period.
The agitation for Tenant-Right in Ireland is destined to fail—in fact, has virtually failed already.
By the beginning of November the theatre of war was virtually transferred from Prussia to Poland.Napoleon's Marshals|R. P. Dunn-Pattison
The king and queen had already been torn from their palaces at Versailles, and were virtually prisoners in the Tuileries.Madame Roland, Makers of History|John S. C. Abbott