vi·​ril·​i·​ty | \ və-ˈri-lə-tē How to pronounce virility (audio) , British also vī- \

Definition of virility

: the quality or state of being virile:
b : manly vigor : masculinity

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Did You Know?

Luckily, there's no doubt about what virility is, since it's depicted on the covers of dozens of new romance novels every month! A masterful and dominating manner, a splendid bared chest, a full head of lustrous hair, and an array of stunning costumes seem to be what's required. (Virile traits often missing in these men are hair on the chest and any hint of future baldness.) High-school football provides a showplace for demonstrations of adolescent virility, and for years afterward virile high-school players can keep using football language in their business life: "get to the red zone", "Hail Mary pass", "move the ball", and on and on.

Examples of virility in a Sentence

many cultures value virility as a sign of power
Recent Examples on the Web Some Koreans believe dog meat, often consumed in a stew called bosintang, helps boost stamina and virility during hot weather. Washington Post, "For nearly 200 dogs, a journey from a South Korean meat farm to a shelter in Maryland," 7 Nov. 2020 Supporters also saw his recovery as testimony to his physical strength and virility. Samantha Pearson, WSJ, "Covid-19 Left U.K.’s Boris Johnson and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro Unscathed Politically," 3 Oct. 2020 The government seems powerless to enforce social distancing or the wearings of masks (some men see the coverings as an insult to their virility). The Economist, "The most infected Arab state Iraq is too broken to protect itself from covid-19," 3 Oct. 2020 Tiger bone wine, in particular, is considered a cure-all tonic, a virility booster for men, and a coveted, favor-winning gift for superiors, elders, and relatives. Rachel Nuwer, Longreads, "The Strange and Dangerous World of America’s Big Cat People," 10 Mar. 2020 The dig at Trump's virility was a different tact for Biden after months of slamming the White House's equipment procurement, testing, and contact tracing strategy, all of which failed to puncture through Trump-centric coverage of COVID-19. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Pent-up electoral intensity as nation reopens," 28 May 2020 Barnett says this may have been because cave lions did not have manes, which female African lions recognize as important signals of fitness and virility. National Geographic, "See the Full Archive," 5 May 2020 Her more polemical books extol danger, charisma, virility and bravado while ridiculing safety, tenderness, solidarity and weakness. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "Katie Roiphe Feels Ambivalent About Feeling Ambivalent," 26 Feb. 2020 With fiscal probity seen as a mark of German political virility, and a brake on debt even written into the constitution, only a full-blown economic crisis is likely to shift the view in Berlin toward a major stimulus. Birgit Jennen,, "Germany Won’t Blink on Fiscal Easing Until Crisis Hits Home," 5 May 2020

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

1586, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for virility

Time Traveler

The first known use of virility was in 1586

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Statistics for virility

Cite this Entry

“Virility.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for virility


vi·​ril·​i·​ty | \ və-ˈril-ət-ē, British also vī- \
plural virilities

Medical Definition of virility

: the quality or state of being virile: as
a : the period of developed manhood
b : the capacity to function as a male in copulation

More from Merriam-Webster on virility

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for virility

Nglish: Translation of virility for Spanish Speakers

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