vi·​ral | \ ˈvī-rəl How to pronounce viral (audio) \

Definition of viral

1 : of, relating to, or caused by a virus a viral infection
2 : quickly and widely spread or popularized especially by means of social media a viral video

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Other Words from viral

virally \ ˈvī-​rə-​lē How to pronounce virally (audio) \ adverb

Examples of viral in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In October, footage of 19-year-old Adrian Napier went viral on Twitter. Sarah Emily Baum, Teen Vogue, "MTA Protests in New York City Target Fare Hikes, Police Conduct," 14 Feb. 2020 The list went viral as more and more kids starting checking items off of it, and Generation Wild grew to partner with more than 250 organizations united in the same mission. Jessica Mordo, Sunset Magazine, "Where the Wild Things Are: Programs That Foster Kids’ Connection to the Outdoors," 11 Feb. 2020 Saline made national headlines last week after a video from a Saline High School diversity meeting went viral. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, "'This is not new': Saline community members voice concerns over race tensions," 10 Feb. 2020 Braun and Scott Borchetta, the founder of Big Machine, denied blocking those projects, but Swift’s complaint went viral. Ben Sisario, New York Times, "Taylor Swift’s Next Big Deal Is for Her Songwriting," 6 Feb. 2020 When reached by phone, Wolfe was still stunned about the video going viral and mentioned that her business has never been written about before. Jeremy Hallock, Dallas News, "Texas bakery’s realistic human heart cake goes viral," 6 Feb. 2020 The couple's bundle of joy is already going viral on social media and received nearly half a million likes in two hours. Amanda Jackson, CNN, "Model Ashley Graham announces the birth of her son," 4 Feb. 2020 Further indication of the love for Hurts made its way to social media when a video of the quarterback being met by excited kids went viral. Mark Heim |, al, "Check out Jalen Hurts’ Alabama-Oklahoma helmet auction results, viral video with kids," 24 Jan. 2020 Then last week her account to The Oregonian/OregonLive went viral. oregonlive, "U.S. Bank fired her for a Christmas good deed. Now companies are clamoring to hire her.," 24 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'viral.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of viral

1937, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for viral

Time Traveler

The first known use of viral was in 1937

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Statistics for viral

Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Viral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for viral


How to pronounce viral (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of viral

: caused by a virus
: spreading very quickly to many people especially through the Internet


vi·​ral | \ ˈvī-rəl How to pronounce viral (audio) \

Medical Definition of viral

: of, relating to, or caused by a virus viral infections

Other Words from viral

virally \ -​rə-​lē How to pronounce virally (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on viral

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with viral

Spanish Central: Translation of viral

Nglish: Translation of viral for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of viral for Arabic Speakers

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