Definition of visionary in English:



  • 1Thinking about or planning the future with imagination or wisdom.

    ‘a visionary leader’
    • ‘It is not easy to paint a visionary future and also to chart the map that gets you there.’
    • ‘When I spoke to one of the people behind this project, I was struck by its simplicity and by the visionary future paradigm that it is based on.’
    • ‘Nor was it Neal Stephenson, the visionary science fiction writer who imagined a future transformed by nanotechnology in his 1995 novel The Diamond Age.’
    • ‘And that is why this ebullient, energetic and visionary leader suddenly became mute and reclusive.’
    • ‘I would be much more comfortable for there to be an inspiring philosophy led by a visionary leader.’
    • ‘Pathology and pills don't offer a very visionary route to such imaginings.’
    • ‘I marvelled at the imaginative energy of the Martian enterprise, at its visionary and dogged inventiveness.’
    • ‘President Lyndon Johnson epitomized the alpha and omega of a leader's visionary determination.’
    • ‘The film is based around Isaac Asimov's visionary stories about future technology where robots are an integral part of our daily lives.’
    • ‘The awards highlight projects that go beyond technical solutions to consider process, human behavior, and visionary city planning.’
    • ‘One expects them to be capable of imagining another, better future - a Utopian moment, a visionary book.’
    • ‘Clearly the last chapters of Wilde's novel are not visionary glimpses of the future.’
    • ‘Guymun is well-known for her visionary insights and gifted storytelling.’
    • ‘The strongest photographs in the show have a mysterious, iconic power that seems to unite a difficult present and a visionary future.’
    • ‘These two visionary leaders forged an enduring relationship that has weathered many challenges from the Cold War to the terrorism we face today.’
    • ‘He hopes to see the gains achieved by the U.S. civil rights movement, and maybe even a vision of ideal universal equality, reflected in the visionary future of the Federation.’
    • ‘During the coming months, AMT will presents visionary articles from leaders on the future of the arts and music.’
    • ‘One of its founders, Professor Tony Robards, will explain how York's city leaders took bold and visionary steps to create a shared strategic vision, long before recent government initiatives.’
    • ‘We keep saying that we are visionary world leaders, but our customers, for the most part, aren't buying it.’
    • ‘The too-obvious answer is that clever, creative, visionary people are attracted to either the abstraction of art and literature or the practical innovation of science and technology.’
    inspired, imaginative, creative, inventive, insightful, ingenious, enterprising, innovative, perceptive, intuitive, far-sighted, prescient, discerning, penetrating, sharp, shrewd, wise, clever, talented, gifted, resourceful
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    1. 1.1archaic (of a scheme or idea) not practical.
      • ‘The book ends with an assault by the mob on Mr Chainmail's 12th-cent. castle, an ironic comment on the more visionary schemes to solve the troubles of the age of reform.’
      • ‘‘These hypothetical, visionary schemes will only act to deter tenants from investing in their businesses,’ he said.’
  • 2Relating to or having the ability to see visions in a dream or trance, or as a supernatural apparition.

    ‘visionary dreams’
    • ‘Though it may seem disheartening to think that this amazing band was greatly a product of a master plan, try to think of it in terms of them being the product of a great idea, or the dreams of a visionary, because that is closer to the truth.’
    • ‘Eventually she must have fallen asleep, but all she remembered was her strange visionary dream.’
    • ‘Hiller's art deals with the transcendental and the visionary, with dreams, trances, hallucinations and altered states of consciousness.’
    • ‘According to Hamburger, the devotional image develops in order to record and provoke the visionary experience cultivated by the nuns and, to a point, imitated by the laity.’
    • ‘For like the visionary nun, Claudia dreams extensively about Jesus' life.’
    • ‘Legend has it that the very structure of the Forbidden City was conceived in a dream by Yung-lo's tutor, a visionary monk.’
    • ‘The film incorporates graphic dream sequences and visionary effects.’
    • ‘Both by the solitary nature of her visionary experience and by the ecclesiastical condemnation, Joan was an outsider.’
    • ‘Through Helforth, we initially learn that geometric images represent Natalia's quest for visionary states of experience.’
    • ‘The Angel's trumpet flower produces a narcotic scent used by South American shamans to induce visionary dreams.’
    • ‘An early visionary experience aroused his faith in the supremacy of the Lotus Stra, and during his career he wrote two commentaries on it, one a general survey of its meaning, the other a line-by-line exegesis.’
    • ‘Somewhere between 432 and 460 a second visionary dream, in which the Irish people beseeched him to return, ignited his missionary zeal.’
    • ‘Astrobiology, the search for life's origins and its existence elsewhere in the universe, used to seem like a visionary dream.’
    • ‘Shortly after this visionary experience, Hurston describes perhaps the most traumatic moment of her childhood, the death of her mother.’
    • ‘Do your students have visionary dreams… which I like to call ‘Eddie Van Halen’ dreams?’
    • ‘His visionary experience also stands between the mystical and the metaphorical, rather than straightforwardly purporting to be supernatural as in the case of Yeats.’
    • ‘This card asks you to be a visionary - to dream beyond current limitations.’
    • ‘Nor are visionary experiences induced, for example, by hallucinogenic drugs.’
    • ‘His interest in visionary experience, for example, can be traced back to early essays.’
    • ‘You don't have to be a particularly visionary or imaginative person to allow these tracks to generate the almost-hallucinatory feelings (we presume are) intended.’
    1. 2.1archaic Existing only in a vision or in the imagination.


  • A person with original ideas about what the future will or could be like.

    ‘he is a visionary keen on policy-making’
    • ‘From be-bop to jazz/rock fusion, he led the way, either by himself or in consort with a handful of other jazz visionaries.’
    • ‘Some science fiction visionaries would have you believe that we're going to live in an apocalyptic future where man is locked in an eternal struggle with the machine.’
    • ‘In common with most visionaries he regrets that the rest of humankind has not had the stamina to keep pace with him.’
    • ‘Instead of visionaries to lead the way, the game has suffered under the guidance of men motivated by self-interest.’
    • ‘One might wonder if this strikes a blow against grassroots visionaries hoping to overhaul city government.’
    • ‘In fact, it was hardly noticed at first, beyond a few visionaries who invented the form, and started fooling around with it.’
    • ‘What folks with political ambitions can do is, to start, be open to the Kings and Gandhis and lesser visionaries.’
    • ‘Amongst them were those visionaries who also comprehended the links between science, technology, and economic growth.’
    • ‘Where are the visionaries who can change things?’
    • ‘She's written a book about space tourism, and talked to many of the visionaries behind the whole idea.’
    • ‘To judge from the number of documents that land on my desk each week concerning politics, urban planning and architecture, this is truly an age of great visionaries.’
    • ‘The artists are the critics of culture and the visionaries that open up possibilities for the future.’
    • ‘It's evident that Hanson is an idealist, albeit one with heavy support from corporate and academic visionaries.’
    • ‘If one were to ask ten storage systems visionaries about the future, one would likely receive ten very divergent opinions.’
    • ‘One of the visionaries behind the Ropewalk, Richard Hatfield, said he believed the development could breath more life into Barton.’
    • ‘We need more such hands-on visionaries for the future of York if we are to create and maintain a competitive position on the world stage.’
    • ‘The council could buy itself whatever future its visionaries saw fit.’
    • ‘The website boasts that ‘Freeness is the now, and tomorrow for future music visionaries.’’
    • ‘As early as 1819, visionaries predicted cities would one day be lit by electricity.’
    • ‘They're not exactly visionaries looking to expand the genre.’