9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[vur-choo-uh-lee] /ˈvɜr tʃu ə li/
for the most part; almost wholly; just about:
He is virtually unknown.
Origin of virtually
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English; see virtual, -ly
Can be confused
figuratively, literally, virtually (see usage note at literally) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for virtually
  • Today, however, virtually every college and university in the nation has an elaborate strategic plan.
  • Demography means virtually all of us will have to work longer.
  • The same features have emerged, and they are virtually indistinguishable from tissue samples from modern species.
  • Scientists often experiment virtually with computer models, but developing such software is time-consuming and difficult.
  • As a seaman he'd suffered several setbacks and was virtually broke.
  • Before the remodel, the outdoor space in back was virtually ignored.
  • For the first time, a robotic system has made a novel scientific discovery with virtually no human intellectual input.
  • Most city skies have become virtually empty of stars.
  • The system could make it possible to identify food contamination virtually instantly.
  • They contained everything that was needed to support life underground and were virtually impervious to enemy infiltration.
British Dictionary definitions for virtually


in effect though not in fact; practically; nearly
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 virtually

early 15c., "as far as essential qualities or facts are concerned;" from virtual + -ly (2). Sense of "in effect, as good as" is recorded from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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