Virtuoso

DEFINITION

Someone skilled in or having a taste for the fine arts, or someone who excels in the technique of an art (most commonly a highly skilled musician); a master. Also, a person who has great skill at some endeavor. English speakers borrowed "virtuoso" from Italian in the 17th century. In Italian, it can either be a noun or an adjective, the latter meaning both "virtuous" and "skilled." In English, the first virtuosos were men of substantial knowledge and learning. The word was then transferred to those skilled in the arts, and by the 18th century it had acquired its specific sense applied to musical performers. In the 20th century, English speakers broadened "virtuoso" again to apply to a person skilled in any pursuit. English speakers pluralize it as either "virtuosos" or "virtuosi."(pr. VER-choo-OH-so or vər-choo-OH-zoh)Also see craftsmanship, talent, and virtuosity.

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