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Virtual Reality | Definition of Virtual Reality by Merriam-Webster

Definition of virtual reality

: an artificial environment which is experienced through sensory stimuli (such as sights and sounds) provided by a computer and in which one’s actions partially determine what happens in the environment


: the technology used to create or access a virtual reality

Examples of virtual reality in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Expo highlights include tours of the new center, virtual reality demonstrations, robots, airplane rides, unmanned aerial vehicles, flight simulators and foundry demonstrations.

Megan Becka,, “Kent State University to hold Aeronautics and Engineering expo Sept. 7,” 4 Sep. 2019

The project leaders also bring virtual reality headsets that can simulate a visit to the Amazon rainforest, Alaska, South America or Australia.

Janene Holzberg,, “Howard County students inspire future caretakers of the natural world,” 3 Sep. 2019

The Void, a virtual reality entertainment center, will open soon at Valley Fair, and a ShowPlace Icon movie theater opened in February.

Roland Li,, “Retail isn’t dead: Two shopping centers on list of Bay Area’s most valuable buildings,” 29 Aug. 2019

Other applications could include helping warehouse workers carry heavy objects or adding a sense of realism to virtual reality., “Japanese researchers want to give your grandma a robotic monkey tail,” 21 Aug. 2019

Shoppers can don virtual reality headsets to see how furniture would fit into a space, using Wayfair’s Room Planner tool.

Globe Staff,, “At Wayfair’s first store, the website isn’t far away,” 20 Aug. 2019

These students spent a week getting instruction at the iD Tech campus before heading to Nokia’s Sunnyvale headquarters for another week to learn everything from 3D printing to video production to virtual reality to coding in Python, Java or C++.

Anne Gelhaus, The Mercury News, “Week at Nokia caps Tech camp for Bay Area teens,” 11 Aug. 2019

The success of the film, a faithful remake of the 1994 animated hit, could also provide a welcome boost to the virtual reality business.

Ryan Faughnder,, “Virtual reality technology helped make ‘The Lion King’ a hit. It could also change moviemaking,” 29 July 2019

To date, the fund has made two dozen investments across a wide variety of high-tech industries, from autonomous cars to virtual reality.

New York Times, “SoftBank Wants to Build the Future. Here Are Some New Bets It Could Make.,” 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘virtual reality.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of virtual reality

1987, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

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Kids Definition of virtual reality

: an artificial environment which is experienced through sights and sounds provided by a computer and in which a person’s actions partly decide what happens in the environment

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