early 15c., "pertaining to the faculty of sight;" also "coming from the eye or sight" (as a beam of light was thought to do), from Late Latin visualis "of sight," from Latin visus "a sight, a looking; power of sight; things seen, appearance," from visus, past participle of videre "to see" (see vision). Meaning "perceptible by sight" is from late 15c; sense of "relating to vision" is first attested c. 1600. The noun meaning "photographic film or other visual display" is first recorded 1944.
mid-14c., emparement, from Old French empeirement, from empeirier (see impair). Re-Latinized spelling is from 1610s.
"pertaining to or of the nature of representation," 1855, originally in philosophy, from representation + -al (1). Specifically of visual arts by 1923. Related: Representationally.
"impairment, corruption," 1630s, from Latin vitiationem (nominative vitiatio) "violation, corruption," noun of action from past-participle stem of vitiare "to make faulty, injure, spoil, corrupt," from vitium "fault, defect, blemish, crime, vice" (see vice (n.1)).
in visual arts, "arrangement of a figure so that the action of the upper body is strongly contrasted with that of the lower," 1903, from Italian contrapposto, past participle of contrapporre, from Latin contraponere "to place opposite, to oppose to" (see contraposition).