virtual

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(adj.) Describes an object, an entity, or a relationship that exists in software rather than in a tangible, physical condition. In computing, a virtual device could represent a hardware peripheral. The use of virtual devices helps programmers avoid hardware incompatibilities as actual configurations evolve. Virtual is a commonly used term for anything that exists but that has no concrete manifestation. An ensemble of samplers playing a MIDI score is called a virtual orchestra. Compare real.