virile

adjective
vir·ile | \ˈvir-əl, ˈvir-ˌī(-ə)l, British also ˈvī(-ə)r-ˌī(-ə)l \

Definition of virile 

1a : 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

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Other Words from virile

virilely adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for virile

Synonyms

male, man-size (or man-sized), manly, mannish, masculine

Antonyms

unmanly, unmasculine

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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

His Padraic is as smolderingly virile as his Poldark. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Orlando Bloom and Aidan Turner Are Drenched in Blood in London," 4 July 2018 The moment, in retrospect, came about from a virile accident. Michael S. Rosenwald, chicagotribune.com, "The Viagra jackpot: A history of the little blue pill at 20," 28 Mar. 2018 The moment, in retrospect, came about from a virile accident. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "The Viagra jackpot: A history of the little blue pill at 20," 28 Mar. 2018 Daniel Ulbricht, always sparky and engaging, keeps gaining subtlety; but Andrew Veyette, another source of virile humor, is showing a few signs of coarseness. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "New York City Ballet Is in Limbo, but in Bloom," 31 May 2018 In the wild, pandas are virile, with sperm counts a hundred times higher than humans. National Geographic, "What You Think You Know About Animals? Probably Not True," 26 May 2018 Taylor’s lively demeanor and astonishingly virile voice staved off tedium. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "James Taylor proves there's still something in the way he moves, and sings | The Kansas City Star," 23 May 2018 Both times, the ringing, virile quality of his sound came through fairly well, though dynamic variations essentially disappeared. Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, "Romancing the Horn: Opera Stars Record Like It’s 1900," 20 Apr. 2018 When Tristan arrives at night to meet Isolde, Mr. Kaufmann combines virile energy with dusky colorings to suggest a man caught between desire and world-weary sadness. Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, "Review: Jonas Kaufmann Takes a Big Step Toward ‘Tristan’," 13 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'virile.' 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 virile

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for virile

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

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Time Traveler for virile

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

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More Definitions for virile

virile

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of virile

: having or suggesting qualities (such as strength and sexual energy) that are associated with men and that are usually considered attractive in men

virile

adjective
vir·ile | \ˈvir-əl, ˈvir-ˌīl\

Kids Definition of virile

: having qualities generally associated with men

virile

adjective
vir·ile | \ˈvir-əl, ˈvi(ə)r-ˌīl, British also ˈvī(ə)r-ˌīl\

Medical Definition of virile 

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

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Comments on virile

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