virile

adjective

vir·​ile ˈvir-əl How to pronounce virile (audio) ˈvir-ˌī(-ə)l How to pronounce virile (audio)
 British also  ˈvī(-ə)r-ˌī(-ə)l
1
a
: having traditionally masculine traits especially to a marked degree
b
: characteristic of or associated with men : masculine
2
: having the nature, properties, or qualities of an adult male
specifically : capable of functioning as a male in copulation
3
4
virilely adverb

Examples of virile in a Sentence

men were once expected to be interested only in such virile activities as hunting
Recent Examples on the Web Judging by the sporting photos on his campaign website, Kennedy would like to be seen as the virile, athletic and spry choice for the White House. Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times, 9 May 2024 Or was he seduced by his masculine prowess and virile confidence? Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 23 Sep. 2023 Our language suggests that hot is good and virile, and a sign of life and strength. Molly Taft, The New Republic, 7 Aug. 2023 The need to evolve from a Clamor into a Teo impelled a series of self-consciously virile escapades. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 26 June 2023 In the end, Collodi changed his country not by publishing adult polemics but by speaking directly to the nation’s children—as the plaque puts it, con tenera amara virile fantasia, with tender, bitter, virile imagination. Perri Klass, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 May 2022 Their guru’s virile presence and checkered past preceded him in his days as a figure on the Sunset Strip. Erin Osmon, Los Angeles Times, 12 Apr. 2023 All plots need a virile factor or two. Celia Storey, Arkansas Online, 24 May 2021 Macbeth was powerful, masculine and virile. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 17 Dec. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'virile.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle French or Latin; Middle French viril, from Latin virilis, from vir man, male; akin to Old English & Old High German wer man, Sanskrit vīra

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of virile was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near virile

Cite this Entry

“Virile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/virile. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

virile

adjective
1
a
: having the nature, powers, or qualities of an adult male : masculine
b
: having traditionally masculine qualities especially to a noticeable degree
2
Etymology

from early French viril "having the qualities of a man," from Latin virilis (same meaning), from vir "man, male" — related to virtue

Medical Definition

virile

adjective
vir·​ile
ˈvir-əl, ˈvi(ə)r-ˌīl, British also ˈvī(ə)r-ˌīl
1
: having the nature, properties, or qualities of an adult male
specifically : capable of functioning as a male in copulation
2
: characteristic of or associated with men : masculine

More from Merriam-Webster on virile

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