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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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 Those same mice returned to normal levels of virility four to six weeks after treatments ended. Andrew Marquardt, Fortune, 1 Apr. 2022 The new pill created by a team at the University of Minnesota blocks proteins from binding to vitamin A, which is known to be crucial to fertility and virility in mammals, per Gizmodo’s Ed Cara. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Mar. 2022 When the treatments were stopped, the mice returned to normal levels of virility within four to six weeks. Chris Morris, Fortune, 23 Mar. 2022 Savagery was just a nuance away from virility, after all. New York Times, 3 Mar. 2022 There is much theater to this trade, as reflected in Putin's fiery speeches and the public portrayal of his virility, the absolute subordination of Russia's most senior officials and the country's feeding a mystique of overwhelming military power. Douglas London, CNN, 4 Mar. 2022 Older, conservative men believe that walking beneath women’s underwear [on a washing line, for example] robs you of your virility. Nick Holdsworth, Variety, 14 Feb. 2022 Does this, perhaps, come down to gender stereotypes and the fetishisation of virility within masculinity? Zoe Beaty,, 31 Jan. 2022 Chest hair became a symbol of virility, maturity and confidence. Dave Schilling, Los Angeles Times, 15 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of virility

1586, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of virility was in 1586

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Cite this Entry

“Virility.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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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

Nglish: Translation of virility for Spanish Speakers


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