see also: Virgin
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈvɝdʒɪn/
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈvɜːdʒɪn/

virgin (plural virgins)

  1. A person who has never had sexual intercourse, or sometimes, one who has never engaged in any sexual activity at all.
  2. (informal) One who has never used or experienced a specified thing.
    I've never eaten tofu before – you could say I'm a tofu virgin.
  3. Any of several species of gossamer-winged butterflies of the family Lycaenidae.
  4. A female insect producing eggs from which young are hatched, though there has been no fecundation by a male; a parthenogenetic insect.
Synonyms Translations Adjective


  1. (usually, not comparable) In a state of virginity; chaste, not having had sexual intercourse.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 7”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      Innocence and virgin Modestie […] / That would be woo’d, and not unsought be won
    • 1913, DH Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, Penguin 2006, page 294:
      He was now about twenty-three years old, and, though still virgin, the sex instinct that Miriam had over refined for so long now grew particularly strong.
    • 1988, Hubert Monteilhet, Neropolis:
      From their embraces was born the handsome Actaeon, a naive boy, who had less excuse than other men, given that he was her son, for believing her to be a virgin. It's true that he was even more virgin than his mother.
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin 2010, page 314:
      Helvidius […] took the plain meaning of scripture to say that Jesus patently had brothers and sisters, so therefore his mother, Mary, had enjoyed a normal family life rather than remaining perpetually virgin.
  2. Of a physical object, untouched.
    • c1611, William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act 4 Scene 1.
      The white cold virgin snow upon my heart / Abates the ardour of my liver.
    • 1932, Dorothy L Sayers, Have his Carcase, Chapter 1.
      There is something about virgin sand which arouses all the worst instincts of the detective-story writer. One feels an irresisitible impulse to go and make footprints all over it.
  3. Not yet cultivated, explored, or exploited by humans or humans of certain civilizations.
    virgin prairie, a virgin ecosystem, virgin forest
    virgin clay, i.e. clay that has never been fired
    The virgin lands of the Americas were awaiting the Europeans.
    • 1650, Edward Williams, Virginia: More Especially the South Part Thereof:
      The same bounty of Summer, the same milde remission of Winter, with a more virgin and unexhausted soyle being materiall arguments to shew that modesty and truth receive no diminution by the comparison.
  4. Of olive oil, obtained by mechanical means, so that the oil is not altered.
    • 2013, Cheryl Forberg, Cooking with Quinoa For Dummies, page 62:
      Wondering how some oil is somehow more virgin than regular virgin olive oil can be a real head-scratcher.
  5. (usually, not comparable) Of mixed drinks, not containing alcohol.
    a virgin daiquiri
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations
Proper noun
  1. (Christianity) Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus.
  2. The constellation and star sign Virgo.
  3. (rare) Surname
  4. A town in Washington County, Utah.
  5. A conglomeration of various businesses founded by Richard Branson.
Synonyms Translations
  • French: la Vierge
  • German: die Jungfrau
  • Italian: la Vergine
  • Russian: Де́ва
  • Spanish: la Virgen
  • French: la Vierge
  • German: die Jungfrau
  • Italian: la Vergine
  • Russian: Де́ва

virgin (plural virgins)

  1. (Christianity, art) A representation (picture, statue etc.) of Virgin Mary.

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