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

And without that hypermasculine virility, Shaft wouldn’t be Shaft. Kerry Lengel, Detroit Free Press, "Tired ‘Shaft’ franchise tries to remain relevant," 13 June 2019 And without that hypermasculine virility, Shaft wouldn’t be Shaft. Kerry Lengel, azcentral, "Kenya Barris tries to move 'Shaft' to the 21st century, but Samuel L. Jackson isn't having it," 12 June 2019 The skillful carver also makes us very aware of Ashurbanipal’s elaborate costumed splendor, and an oblong beard jutting down from his chin asserts the monarch’s proud virility as well. Richard Cork, WSJ, "A Conqueror With a Taste for Art," 24 Nov. 2018 Even the early Aztecs believed chocolate boosted virility — an attitude probably shared by loads of Russell Stovers-bearing men on Valentine's Day. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Some Scientists Say These Aphrodisiacs for Women Could Actually Boost Your Libido," 6 Aug. 2015 Rhino horn is traditionally used to treat ailments including fever, rheumatism and gout, and tiger-bone products have been used for relieving joint pains and boosting male virility. Chun Han Wong, WSJ, "China Suspends Its Relaxation of Wildlife-Trade Ban," 12 Nov. 2018 Various hypotheses have been proposed, including the idea that dangling gonads are a way to signal virility and good health, but none are satisfactory. New York Times, "The Evolutionary Origin of Descending Testicles," 29 June 2018 In the Senate race, much of the negative tone has been set by Corey Stewart, a one-time Trump state campaign chairman who has frequently attacked fellow Republicans and mocked their looks and virility. Washington Post, "Virginia Republicans at odds - and throats - in Trump era," 16 May 2018 Think about this: Donald Trump created a PR executive named John Miller, who used to call the New York tabloids in the 1980s and tout the virility, success and general appeal of Donald Trump. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "This 1990 Donald Trump quote in Playboy magazine explains today perfectly," 31 May 2018

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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Statistics for virility

Last Updated

24 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for virility

The first known use of virility was in 1586

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on virility

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with virility

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for virility

Spanish Central: Translation of virility

Nglish: Translation of virility for Spanish Speakers

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