Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pertaining to a virgin; maidenly: as, virginal reserve.
  • In zoology, virgin; parthenogenetic: as, the virginal reproduction of plant-lice.
  • To finger, as on a virginal; pat or tap with the fingers.
  • noun A spinet, or small harpsichord (which see), usually quadrangular in shape and without legs, very popular in England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to a virgin; becoming a virgin; maidenly.
  • adjective (Biol.) parthenogenesis.
  • adjective (Anat.) the hymen.
  • noun (Mus.) An instrument somewhat resembling the spinet, but having a rectangular form, like the small piano. It had strings and keys, but only one wire to a note. The instrument was used in the sixteenth century, but is now wholly obsolete. It was sometimes called a pair of virginals.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To play with the fingers, as if on a virginal; to tap or pat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Being or resembling a virgin.
  • noun music A musical instrument in the harpsichord family.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective in a state of sexual virginity
  • adjective untouched or undefiled
  • noun a legless rectangular harpsichord; played (usually by women) in the 16th and 17th centuries
  • adjective characteristic of a virgin or virginity

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin virginālis

Examples

  • Nay, I am no cold-blooded theorist, no thick-hided dogmatist; nor am I a chastely simple young man mooning in virginal innocence.

    The Kempton-Wace Letters

  • If we treat the word virginal as meaning purity, then the birth of her gifted son (sun) was due to her positive nature: she was pure at heart, as the fields were pure to plant upon.

    Derek Beres: A Light is Born: Jesus, Jeremiah and Sam

  • You see, geek girls are such a rarity that few of them remain virginal - the choices are so many ...

    Some things defy belief.

  • The everlasting snow which looks so virginal, is in fact distinctly grimy when you get close to it.

    As I Please

  • The so-called virginal reproduction (Parthenogenesis) offers an interesting form of transition from sexual reproduction to the non-sexual formation of germ-cells which most resembles it ....

    The Story of Atlantis and the Lost Lemuria

  • The profane love of woman presented itself to my fancy, clothed, not only with all its own charms, but with the sovereign and almost irresistible charms of the most dangerous of all temptation—of that which the moralists call virginal temptation—when the mind, not yet undeceived by experience and by sin, pictures to itself in the transports of love a supreme and ineffable delight immeasurable superior to all reality.

    IX. Part II.—Paralipomena

  • Finally, no Shakespeare student will deny that some general help is necessary, when Schmidt's admirable Lexicon commits itself to such a misleading statement as that a virginal is a kind of small pianoforte, and when a very distinguished Shakespeare scholar has allowed a definition of a viol as a six-stringed guitar to appear in print under his name.

    Shakespeare and Music With Illustrations from the Music of the 16th and 17th centuries

  • When the spinet was of very small dimensions it was called a virginal; when it was in the shape of our modern grand piano, it was, of course,

    Critical and Historical Essays Lectures delivered at Columbia University

  • The ex-wife turned up, alone, in an outfit best described as virginal white (the bride, on her second marriage was obviously not in white).

    Army Rumour Service

  • The ex-wife turned up, alone, in an outfit best described as virginal white (the bride, on her second marriage was obviously not in white).

    Army Rumour Service

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • Predictably there's some lewd conjecture about how this term came to be applied to a musical instrument.

    May 30, 2008