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The term virtual is a concept applied in many fields with somewhat differing connotations, and also, differing denotations.

The term has been defined in philosophy as "that which is not real" but may display the salient qualities of the real. Colloquially, 'virtual' is used to mean almost, particularly when used in the adverbial form e.g. "That's virtually [almost] impossible".

This usage of virtual is found in many fields.

In computing:

In education and business:

In entertainment and recreation:

In mathematics, physics, and medicine:

In philosophy:

In telecommunications and electronics:








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