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[vizh-uh-ner-ee] /ˈvɪʒ əˌnɛr i/
given to or characterized by fanciful, not presently workable, or unpractical ideas, views, or schemes:
a visionary enthusiast.
given to or concerned with seeing visions.
belonging to or seen in a vision.
unreal; imaginary:
visionary evils.
purely idealistic or speculative; impractical; unrealizable:
a visionary scheme.
of, relating to, or proper to a vision.
noun, plural visionaries.
a person of unusually keen foresight.
a person who sees visions.
a person who is given to audacious, highly speculative, or impractical ideas or schemes; dreamer.
Origin of visionary
1640-50; vision + -ary
Related forms
visionariness, noun
nonvisionary, adjective, noun
unvisionary, adjective
1. impractical, impracticable. 4. fancied, illusory, chimerical. 5. unrealistic.
1. practical. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for visionary
  • visionary leader knows best practices for urban, commuter, community and technical college students.
  • Left in place, she would have been the beneficiary of her own visionary leadership.
  • Around the central character swirls a cast of cheats, anarchists, and visionary urban promoters.
  • We asked the visionary scientists on our advisory board what new trends will shape the decades to come.
  • He's built impeccable credentials as a media visionary.
  • Their purpose is to allow campus administrators to give the appearance of visionary.
  • Although his ecological thinking at first caused derision among other ranchers, he can now claim to be a visionary.
  • He/she will be a visionary and a strategic thinker with the ability to think outside the box.
  • But what they have not demonstrated is that they have a visionary at or anywhere near the helm.
  • There's real visionary thinking here, real possibilities to do something amazing.
British Dictionary definitions for visionary


marked by vision or foresight: a visionary leader
incapable of being realized or effected; unrealistic
(of people) characterized by idealistic or radical ideas, esp impractical ones
given to having visions
of, of the nature of, or seen in visions
noun (pl) -aries
a visionary person
Derived Forms
visionariness, noun
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 visionary

"able to see visions," 1650s, from vision + -ary. Meaning "impractical" is attested from 1727. The noun is attested from 1702, from the adj., originally "one who indulges in impractical fantasies."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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visionary in Technology

1. One who hacks vision, in the sense of an Artificial Intelligence researcher working on the problem of getting computers to "see" things using TV cameras. (There isn't any problem in sending information from a TV camera to a computer. The problem is, how can the computer be programmed to make use of the camera information? See SMOP, AI-complete.)
2. [IBM] One who reads the outside literature. At IBM, apparently, such a penchant is viewed with awe and wonder.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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