noun, plural vi·sas.
  1. an endorsement issued by an authorized representative of a country and marked in a passport, permitting the passport holder to enter, travel through, or reside in that country for a specified amount of time, for the purpose of tourism, education, employment, etc.
verb (used with object), vi·saed, vi·sa·ing.
  1. to give a visa to; approve a visa for.
  2. to put a visa on (a passport).
Also visé.

Origin of visa

1830–40; < French, short for Latin carta vīsa “the document (has been) seen”; vīsa, feminine past participle of vidēre “to see, look at”
Can be confusedpassport visa Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for visas


noun plural -sas
  1. an endorsement in a passport or similar document, signifying that the document is in order and permitting its bearer to travel into or through the country of the government issuing it
  2. any sign or signature of approval
verb -sas, -saing or -saed (tr)
  1. to enter a visa into (a passport)
  2. to endorse or ratify

Word Origin for visa

C19: via French from Latin vīsa things seen, from vīsus, past participle of vidēre to see
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

Word Origin and History for visas



1831, "official signature or endorsement on a passport," from French visa, from Modern Latin charta visa "verified paper," literally "paper that has been seen," from fem. past participle of Latin videre "to see" (see vision). Earlier visé (1810), from French past participle of viser "to examine, view."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper