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

Frustrated, Sara took to Facebook in July 2018 with a post that quickly went viral. Beth Dreher, Woman's Day, "Meet the Woman Who Stands In at LGBTQ Weddings," 4 May 2019 While her following was definitely on the rise at the time, her Dollar Store haul video, which was posted in July 2017, was the first to really go viral. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "10 Facts About Emma Chamberlain Only Real Fans Will Know," 3 May 2019 That’s because the house is now the headquarters of Jasmina Vico, the facialist whose work with Jodie Comer went viral when Killing Eve premiered. Catherine Hong, Town & Country, "Jodie Comer's Facialist Reveals Her Secret to Beautiful Skin," 14 Apr. 2019 Tonight, the Golden Globes red carpet kicked off what is sure to be a night of glitz, accolades, and viral memes. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "This American Horror Story Star Wore Margiela’s Iconic Heels on the Globes Red Carpet," 7 Jan. 2019 Our mental states can be very serious, or they can be summarized with a viral meme. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "The Twitter Hashtag #MyMentalStatein5Words Is Starting an Important Mental Health Conversation," 10 Dec. 2018 My long-term goal is to get kicked off TikTok for making viral memes promoting democratic reforms in China. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Four ways the internet changed the midterm elections," 7 Nov. 2018 Additionally the public, as opposed to record labels, now has an unprecedented ability to choose hits by simply streaming them or creating a viral meme. Dj Louie Xiv, Vanities, "Has 2018 Killed the Pop Star?," 22 June 2018 No need to mention that the celebratory collectibles have gone instantly viral. Max Maeckler, Vogue, "Yoox and Toiletpaper Magazine Sent Out 7 Different Dress Codes For a Rager Dubbed the “Confusion Party”," 12 Apr. 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near viral






viral marketing


Statistics for viral

Last Updated

15 May 2019

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Time Traveler for viral

The first known use of viral was in 1937

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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 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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a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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