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From Middle English vertually; equivalent to virtual +‎ -ly.


  • IPA(key): /ˈvɝt͡ʃuəli/, [ˈvɝt͡ʃuəɫi]
  • (file)


virtually (comparative more virtually, superlative most virtually)

  1. Almost but not quite.
    Synonyms: as good as, more or less, nearly, practically
    With our Medicare supplemental insurance plan, there are virtually no claim forms to fill out. (Advertisement)
    • 2011 September 21, Sam Lyon, “Man City 2-0 Birmingham”, in BBC Sport:
      By surviving the first six minutes Hargreaves matched the total amount of playing time he had managed previously in virtually three years - and by scoring his first goal since April 2008 he set the hosts on their way to a fifth win of the season in all competitions.
    • 2013 July 6, “The rise of smart beta”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8843, page 68:
      Investors face a quandary. Cash offers a return of virtually zero in many developed countries; government-bond yields may have risen in recent weeks but they are still unattractive. Equities have suffered two big bear markets since 2000 and are wobbling again. It is hardly surprising that pension funds, insurers and endowments are searching for new sources of return.
  2. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) Without exaggeration.
  3. In essence or functionally, but not in fact, formally, or technically.
    Synonyms: effectively, practically
    virtually a member of the family
  4. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) (algebra) Of a subgroup of finite index.
    • 1998, Daryl Cooper, D. D. Long, A. W. Reid, “Infinite Coxeter Groups are Virtually Indicable”, in Proceedings of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society, volume 41, page 309:
      In this case W has a diagram with 2 vertices and one edge labelled ∞, and is therefore the infinite dihedral group. Thus W is virtually ℤ.
    • 2018, Simon André, “Virtually free groups are almost homogeneous”, in arXiv[1], section 1:
      In this paper, we are mainly concerned with homogeneity in the class of finitely generated virtually free groups, i.e. finitely generated groups with a free subgroup of finite index.
  5. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) (topology) Of a covering space of finite degree.
    • 2002, Steven Boyer, “Dehn surgery on knots” (chapter 4), in R.J. Daverman, R.B. Sher, editors, Handbook of Geometric Topology, page 206:
      Another class of small manifolds consists of those that are not virtually Haken (a manifold is virtually Haken if it is finitely covered by a Haken manifold).
    • 2017, Martin R. Bridson, Henry Wilton, “Hyperbolic Geometry and Geometric Group Theory”, in Advanced Studies in Pure Mathematics, volume 73, page 40:
      We call a hyperplane Y in a VH-complex X virtually clean if there exists a finite-sheeted covering map p : X and a connected component Yp−1Y such that the hyperplane Ŷ of is clean.
  6. By computer or in cyberspace.
    Synonyms: cyberly, digitally



  • virtually”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.