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 viral (audio) \ adverb

Examples of viral in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The video of his landing and the vaccine card reveal soon went viral. Clare Proctor,, "With viral video, University of Illinois gymnast shines light on vaccine advocacy and his sport," 9 Apr. 2021 Khloé Kardashian is responding to that unedited photo of herself in a bikini that went viral a few days ago. Paulina Jayne Isaac, Glamour, "Khloé Kardashian Speaks Out About That Unedited Bikini Pic," 8 Apr. 2021 The video of the arrest went viral, drawing a public outcry. Austen Erblat,, "Deputy suspended for eight hours after viral video of him shoving teen against a wall," 8 Apr. 2021 The gesture was caught on camera and the video quickly went viral. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Shaq was out shopping when he saw a man buying an engagement ring – then he bought it for him," 8 Apr. 2021 In January 2020, her social media marketing finally paid off: A photo of Longe outfitted in a Kai dress at a BAFTA party went viral. Alexandra Sternlicht, Forbes, "Meet The Nigerian Founder Building A Clothing Empire For Independent Women," 8 Apr. 2021 The attack last Monday on the woman, Vilma Kari, 65, video of which quickly went viral, was one of a wave of assaults over the past year that have caused mounting fear and anxiety among Asian-Americans in New York and across the country. New York Times, "Doormen Who Stood By After Brutal Attack on Asian Woman Are Fired," 6 Apr. 2021 TikTok post about the incident went viral over the weekend. Nora Mishanec, San Francisco Chronicle, "Retired pro boxer released on misdemeanor citation in alleged anti-Asian attack at S.F. bar," 6 Apr. 2021 The shelter pup went viral on Thursday after news of his bad luck spread. Kelli Bender,, "The Dog Returned After 419 Days in a Texas Shelter Has Moved to a New Rescue to 'Decompress'," 6 Apr. 2021

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

History and Etymology for viral

vir(us) + -al entry 1

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Statistics for viral

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Viral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for viral



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 viral (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on viral

Nglish: Translation of viral for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of viral for Arabic Speakers

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