virion (n.)
coined in French, 1959, from virus (see virus) + -on.
virologist (n.)
1946; see virology + -ist.
virology (n.)
1935, from comb. form of virus + -ology. Related: Virological.
virtu (n.)
"excellence in an object of art, passion for works of art," 1722, from Italian virtu "excellence," from Latin virtutem (nominative virtus) "virtue, goodness, manliness" (see virtue). The same word as virtue, borrowed during a period when everything Italian was in vogue. Sometimes spelled vertu, as though from French, but this sense of the word is not in French.
virtual (adj.)
late 14c., "influencing by physical virtues or capabilities, effective with respect to inherent natural qualities," from Medieval Latin virtualis, from Latin virtus "excellence, potency, efficacy," literally "manliness, manhood" (see virtue). The meaning "being something in essence or effect, though not actually or in fact" is from mid-15c., probably via sense of "capable of producing a certain effect" (early 15c.). Computer sense of "not physically existing but made to appear by software" is attested from 1959.
virtually (adv.)
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.
virtue (n.)
c.1200, vertu, "moral life and conduct; a particular moral excellence," from Anglo-French and Old French vertu "force, strength, vigor; moral strength; qualities, abilities" (10c. in Old French), from Latin virtutem (nominative virtus) "moral strength, high character, goodness; manliness; valor, bravery, courage (in war); excellence, worth," from vir "man" (see virile).
For my part I honour with the name of virtue the habit of acting in a way troublesome to oneself and useful to others. [Stendhal "de l'Amour," 1822]
Especially (in women) "chastity, sexual purity" from 1590s. Phrase by virtue of (early 13c.) preserves alternative Middle English sense of "efficacy." Wyclif Bible has virtue where KJV uses power. The seven cardinal virtues (early 14c.) were divided into the natural (justice, prudence, temperance, fortitude) and the theological (hope, faith, charity). To make a virtue of a necessity (late 14c.) translates Latin facere de necessitate virtutem [Jerome].
virtuosity (n.)
late 15c., "manly qualities," from Medieval Latin virtuositas, from Late Latin virtuosus (see virtuous). As "skill or abilities of a virtuoso," 1670s, from virtuoso + -ity.
virtuoso (n.)
1610s, "scholar, connoisseur," from Italian virtuoso (plural virtuosi), noun use of adjective meaning "skilled, learned, of exceptional worth," from Late Latin virtuosus (see virtuous). Meaning "person with great skill, one who is a master of the mechanical part of a fine art" (as in music) is first attested 1743.
virtuous (adj.)
c.1300, "characterized by vigor or strength; having qualities befitting a knight; valiant, hardy, courageous;" from Old French vertuos "righteous; potent; of good quality; mighty, valiant, brave" (12c.), from Late Latin virtuosus "good, virtuous," from Latin virtus (see virtue). From mid-14c. in English as "having beneficial or efficacious properties;" late 14c. (of persons) as "having excellent moral qualities; conforming to religious law." Related: Virtuously; virtuousness.
virulence (n.)
1660s, from Late Latin virulentia, from Latin virulentus "full of poison" (see virulent). Related: Virulency (1610s).
virulent (adj.)
c.1400, in reference to wounds, ulcers, etc., "full of corrupt or poisonous matter," from Latin virulentus "poisonous," from virus "poison" (see virus). Figurative sense of "violent, spiteful" is attested from c.1600. Related: Virulently.
virus (n.)
late 14c., "venomous substance," from Latin virus "poison, sap of plants, slimy liquid, a potent juice," probably from PIE root *weis- "to melt away, to flow," used of foul or malodorous fluids, with specialization in some languages to "poisonous fluid" (cognates: Sanskrit visam "poison," visah "poisonous;" Avestan vish- "poison;" Latin viscum "sticky substance, birdlime;" Greek ios "poison," ixos "mistletoe, birdlime; Old Church Slavonic višnja "cherry;" Old Irish fi "poison;" Welsh gwy "fluid, water," gwyar "blood"). Main modern meaning "agent that causes infectious disease" first recorded 1728 (in reference to venereal disease). The computer sense is from 1972.
vis-a-vis (prep.)
1755, from French prepositional use of the adj. vis-à-vis "face to face," from Old French vis "face" (see visage).
visa (n.)
1831, "official signature or endorsement on a passport," from French visa, from Modern Latin charta visa "verified paper," literally "paper that has been seen," from fem. past participle of Latin videre "to see" (see vision). Earlier visé (1810), from French past participle of viser "to examine, view." The credit card of this name was introduced 1976, replacing BankAmericard.
visage (n.)
c.1300, from Anglo-French and Old French visage "face, coutenance; portrait," from vis "face, appearance," from Latin visus "a look, vision," from past participle stem of videre "to see" (see vision). Visagiste "make-up artist" is recorded from 1958, from French.
viscera (n.)
"inner organs of the body," 1650s, from Latin viscera, plural of viscus "internal organ," of unknown origin.
visceral (adj.)
1570s, "affecting inward feelings," from Middle French viscéral and directly from Medieval Latin visceralis "internal," from Latin viscera, plural of viscus "internal organ, inner parts of the body," of unknown origin. The bowels were regarded as the seat of emotion. The figurative sense vanished after 1640 and the literal sense is first recorded in 1794. The figurative sense was revived 1940s in arts criticism.
viscid (adj.)
"sticky," 1630s, from French viscide or directly from Late Latin viscidus "sticky, clammy," from Latin viscum "mistletoe, birdlime" (see viscous). Related: Viscidity (1610s); viscidly.
viscosity (n.)
early 15c., from Old French viscosite (13c.) or directly from Medieval Latin viscositatem (nominative viscositas), from Late Latin viscosus (see viscous).
viscount (n.)
late 14c., "deputy of a count or earl," from Anglo-French and Old French visconte (Modern French vicomte), from Medieval Latin vicecomes (genitive vicecomitis), from Late Latin vice- "deputy" (see vice-) + Latin comes "member of an imperial court, nobleman" (see count (n.)). As a rank in British peerage, first recorded 1440. Related: Viscountess.
viscous (adj.)
late 14c., from Anglo-French viscous and directly from Late Latin viscosus "sticky," from Latin viscum "anything sticky, birdlime made from mistletoe, mistletoe," probably from PIE root *weis- "to melt away, flow" (used of foul or malodorous fluids); see virus.
vise (n.)
early 14c., "a winch, crane," from Anglo-French vice, Old French vis, viz "screw," from Latin vitis "vine, tendril of a vine," literally "that which winds," from root of viere "to bind, twist" (see withy). Also in Middle English, "device like a screw or winch for bending a crossbow or catapult; spiral staircase; the screw of a press; twisted tie for fastening a hood under the chin." The modern meaning "clamping tool with two jaws closed by a screw" is first recorded c.1500.
Vishnu
name of a principal Hindu deity, 1630s, from Sanskrit Vishnu, probably from root vish- and meaning "all-pervader" or "worker."
visibility (n.)
c.1400, "condition of being visible," from Late Latin visibilitatem (nominative visibilitas) "condition of being seen; conspicuousness," from visibilis (see visible). Meaning "range of vision under given conditions" is from 1914. Sense of "prominence, fame, public attention" is recorded from 1958.
visible (adj.)
mid-14c., from Old French visable, visible "perceptible" (12c.) and directly from Latin visibilis "that may be seen," from visus, past participle of videre "to see" (see vision). An Old English word for this was eagsyne. Related: Visibly.
Visigoth
1640s, from Late Latin Visigothus (plural Visigothi), perhaps "West Goths" (which could be Latinized from a Germanic source such as Old High German westan "from the west"), as opposed to Ostrogothi; but according to some authorities, Visi/Vesi appears to be a Latinized form of a tribal name. Their kingdom endured to 507 in southern France, till 711 in Spain. In common with Vandal their name later was used for "uncivilized person" (1749). Related: Visigothic.
vision (n.)
c.1300, "something seen in the imagination or in the supernatural," from Anglo-French visioun, Old French vision "presence, sight; view, look, appearance; dream, supernatural sight" (12c.), from Latin visionem (nominative visio) "act of seeing, sight, thing seen," noun of action from past participle stem of videre "to see."

This is from the productive PIE root *weid- "to know, to see" (cognates: Sanskrit veda "I know;" Avestan vaeda "I know;" Greek oida, Doric woida "I know," idein "to see;" Old Irish fis "vision," find "white," i.e. "clearly seen," fiuss "knowledge;" Welsh gwyn, Gaulish vindos, Breton gwenn "white;" Gothic, Old Swedish, Old English witan "to know;" Gothic weitan "to see;" English wise, German wissen "to know;" Lithuanian vysti "to see;" Bulgarian vidya "I see;" Polish widzieć "to see," wiedzieć "to know;" Russian videt' "to see," vest' "news," Old Russian vedat' "to know").

The meaning "sense of sight" is first recorded late 15c. Meaning "statesman-like foresight, political sagacity" is attested from 1926.
visionary (adj.)
"able to see visions," 1650s (earlier "perceived in a vision," 1640s), from vision + -ary. Meaning "impractical" is attested from 1727. The noun is attested from 1702, from the adjective; originally "one who indulges in impractical fantasies."
visit (v.)
c.1200, "come to (a person) to comfort or benefit," from Old French visiter "to visit; inspect, examine; afflict" (12c.) and directly from Latin visitare "to go to see, come to inspect," frequentative of visere "behold, visit" (a person or place), from past participle stem of videre "to see, notice, observe" (see vision). Originally of the deity, later of pastors and doctors (c.1300), general sense of "pay a call" is from mid-13c. Meaning "come upon, afflict" (in reference to sickness, punishment, etc.) is recorded in English from mid-14c. Related: Visited; visiting.
visit (n.)
1620s, "friendly or formal call upon someone," from visit (v.) and from French visite (n.). From 1800 as "short or temporary trip to some place." With pay (v.) since 1650s.
visitation (n.)
c.1300, "a visit by an ecclesiastical representative to examine the condition of a parish, abbey, etc.," from Anglo-French visitacioun, Old French visitacion and directly from Latin visitationem (nominative visitatio), noun of action from past participle stem of visitare (see visit (v.)). The supernatural sense of "a sight, apparition, a coming of God to a mortal" is attested from mid-14c.
visitor (n.)
late 14c., from Anglo-French visitour, Old French visiteor "visitor, inspector," from visiter (see visit (v.)). Sports sense is from 1900.
visor (n.)
c.1300, viser, "front part of a helmet," from Anglo-French viser, Old French visiere "visor" (13c.), from vis "face" (see visage). Spelling shifted 15c. Meaning "eyeshade" is recorded from 1925.
vista (n.)
1650s, "a view or prospect," from Italian vista "sight, view," noun use of fem. past participle of vedere "see," from Latin videre "to see" (see vision).
Vistavision (n.)
form of wide-screen cinematography, 1954; see vista + vision.
visual (adj.)
early 15c., "pertaining to the faculty of sight;" also "coming from the eye or sight" (as a beam of light was thought to do), from Late Latin visualis "of sight," from Latin visus "a sight, a looking; power of sight; things seen, appearance," from visus, past participle of videre "to see" (see vision). Meaning "perceptible by sight" is from late 15c; sense of "relating to vision" is first attested c.1600. The noun meaning "photographic film or other visual display" is first recorded 1944.
visualise (v.)
chiefly British English spelling of visualize. For suffix, see -ize. Related: Visualised; visualising; visualisation.
visualization (n.)
1881, noun of action from visualize.
visualize (v.)
1817, first attested in, and perhaps coined by, Coleridge ("Biographia Literaria"); see visual + -ize. Related: Visualized; visualizing.
visually (adv.)
mid-15c., from visual + -ly (2).
vita (n.)
plural vitae, Latin, literally "life" (see vital).
vital (adj.)
late 14c., "of or manifesting life," from Latin vitalis "of or belonging to life," from vita "life," related to vivere "to live," from PIE root *gweie- (1) "to live" (see bio-). The sense of "necessary or important" is from 1610s, via the notion of "essential to life" (late 15c.). Vital capacity recorded from 1852. Related: Vitally.
vital statistics (n.)
1837, with reference to birth, marriage, death, etc.; meaning "a woman's bust, waist, and hip measurements" is from 1952. See vital.
vitality (n.)
1590s, from Latin vitalitatem (nominative vitalitas) "vital force, life," from vitalis "pertaining to life" (see vital).
vitalize (v.)
1670s, "to give life to," from vital + -ize. Figurative sense by 1805. Related: Vitalized; vitalizing.
vitals (n.)
"organs of the body essential to life," c.1600, from noun use of adjective vital, perhaps on model of Latin vitalia "vital force," neuter plural of vitalis.
vitamin (n.)
1920, originally vitamine (1912) coined by Polish biochemist Casimir Funk (1884-1967), from Latin vita "life" (see vital) + amine, because they were thought to contain amino acids. The terminal -e formally was stripped off when scientists learned the true nature of the substance; -in was acceptable because it was used for neutral substances of undefined composition. The lettering system of nomenclature (Vitamin A, B, C, etc.) was introduced at the same time (1920).
vitiate (v.)
1530s, from Latin vitiatus, past participle of vitiare "to make faulty, injure, spoil, corrupt," from vitium "fault, defect, blemish, crime, vice" (see vice (n.1)). Related: Vitiated; vitiating.
vitiation (n.)
1630s, from Latin vitiationem (nominative vitiatio) "violation, corruption," noun of action from past participle stem of vitiare (see vitiate).