from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A musician with masterly ability, technique, or personal style.
  • noun A person with masterly skill or technique in the arts.
  • noun Archaic A person with a strong interest in the fine arts, especially in antiquities.
  • noun Obsolete A very learned person.
  • adjective Exhibiting the ability, technique, or personal style of a virtuoso.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An experimental philosopher; a student of things by direct observation.
  • noun One who has an instructed appreciation of artistic excellence; a person skilled in or having a critical taste for any of the elegant arts, as painting, sculpture, etc.; one having special knowledge or skill in antiquities, curiosities, and the like.
  • noun One who is a master of the mechanical part of a fine art, especially music, and who makes display of his dexterity. See virtuosity, 2.

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

  • noun One devoted to virtu; one skilled in the fine arts, in antiquities, and the like; a collector or ardent admirer of curiosities, etc.
  • noun (Mus.) A performer on some instrument, as the violin or the piano, who excels in the technical part of his art; a brilliant concert player.

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

  • noun A person (especially a musician) with masterly ability, technique, or personal style
  • adjective Exhibiting the ability of a virtuoso

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

  • adjective having or revealing supreme mastery or skill
  • noun a musician who is a consummate master of technique and artistry
  • noun someone who is dazzlingly skilled in any field


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Italian, skilled, of great worth, virtuoso, from Late Latin virtuōsus, virtuous, from Latin virtūs, excellence; see virtue.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Italian, from Late Latin virtuosus, "virtuous", from Latin virtus, "excellence".


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  • A major US newspaper has called Christopher Parkening “the leading guitar virtuoso of our day, combining profound musical insight with complete technical mastery of his instrument.”

    March 2, 2011

  • Nice Word! Virtuoso. I'm planning on mastering the skill of audio engineering involving music, so the definition of this word definitely caught my eye! I'm still on the 10,000 hour rule, practicing every day so hopefully I can get better in the field of audio engineering.

    September 28, 2011

  • I once heard Peter Schickele in a P. D. Q. Bach performance render this as "virtuasuoso".

    September 29, 2011