9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[vir-uh l or, esp. British, -ahyl] /ˈvɪr əl or, esp. British, -aɪl/
of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or befitting a man; masculine; manly:
virile strength.
having or exhibiting masculine energy, forcefulness, or strength in a marked degree.
characterized by a vigorous, masculine spirit:
a virile literary style.
of, relating to, or capable of procreation.
Origin of virile
1480-90; < Latin virīlis manly, equivalent to vir man (akin to Old English wer man; see werewolf) + -īlis -ile
Related forms
nonvirile, adjective
subvirile, adjective
ultravirile, adjective
unvirile, adjective
Can be confused
viral, virile.
2. vigorous. See male. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for virile
  • The experience introduced to the public those virile qualities of his with which his friends were familiar.
  • Church's desire to paint more fascinating scenes reflected his virile character.
British Dictionary definitions for virile


of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an adult male
(of a male) possessing high sexual drive and capacity for sexual intercourse
of or capable of copulation or procreation
strong, forceful, or vigorous
Derived Forms
virility (vɪˈrɪlɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin virīlis manly, from vir a man; related to Old English wer man and probably to Latin vis strength
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for virile

late 15c., from Old French viril, from Latin virilis "of a man, manly," from vir "a man, a hero," from PIE *uiHro "freeman" (cf. Sanskrit virah, Avestan vira-, Lithuanian vyras, Lithuanian vyras, Old Irish fer, Welsh gwr, Gothic wair, Old English wer "man"). Virile member for "penis" is recorded from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
virile in Medicine

virile vir·ile (vēr'əl, -īl')

  1. Of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an adult male, especially the ability to perform sexually as a male.

  2. Having or showing masculine spirit, strength, vigor, or power.

  3. Sexually potent.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for virile

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for virile

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with virile

Nearby words for virile