[ vir-uhl 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 formsnon·vir·ile, adjectivesub·vir·ile, adjectiveul·tra·vir·ile, adjectiveun·vir·ile, adjective
Can be confusedviral virile Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for virile

British Dictionary definitions for virile


/ (ˈvɪraɪl) /


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 Formsvirility (vɪˈrɪlɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for virile

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

Medicine definitions for virile


[ vîrəl, -īl′ ]


Of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an adult male, especially the ability to perform sexually as a male.
Having or showing masculine spirit, strength, vigor, or power.
Sexually potent.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.