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Definition: virtual address

A temporary address in storage. Every computer has a virtual memory system that allows a running program to be split up into "pages." When RAM is needed for another program, one or more pages are temporarily copied to HDD or SSD storage until required again. When the instructions in the stored page are needed for execution, the page is copied back into RAM, and a page in that program or another program is temporarily swapped out. Contrast with real address. See virtual memory.