Viral vs virile

Photo of author


Viral and virile are two words that are sometimes confused. They are close in spelling and pronunciation. We will examine the definitions of viral and virile, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Viral is an adjective that refers to something related to a virus. A virus is a type of germ or agent of infection that causes disease. A virus may be as non-threatening as a 24-hour stomach flu, colds, mononucleosis or chicken pox, or an illness as serious as meningitis, encephalitis, human papillomavirus, hepatitis, herpes simplex virus, the flu or influenza, Epstein Barr virus or the Ebola virus. Depending on which disease is involved, a virus infection may cause symptoms ranging from aches, malaise, a stiff neck, headache, sneezing, coughing, rash, fever, sore throat or even hemorrhaging, inflammation of the brain and paralysis. Antibiotics do not treat a viral infection. For the most part, viruses must be allowed to run their course while treating only the symptoms. The best way to avoid becoming infected with a virus is to avoid situations where a virus may be transmitted person to person, engage in copious hand washing, and regular immunization or vaccination against contagious viral infections. The word viral is also used in the phrase going viral, which describes a video, picture, gif or piece of information that spreads over the internet quickly through the use of social media and email. The term going viral was coined around the year 2000, probably related to the term viral marketing which was coined in the 1990s, which in turn was probably based on the way biological viruses spread through a population in a rapid manner. The word viral is derived from the Latin word virus which means poison, and the suffix -al which means pertaining to.

Virile describes someone or something that is strong and vigorous, especially someone who has a strong sexual drive. For the most part, the word virile is applied to males. Virile is an adjective, the noun form is virility. The word virile is derived from the Latin word virilis, which means worthy of a man.


A viral video by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is a 100-percent in-house effort aimed at spreading a message of hope this holiday season. (The Journal-News)

Mumps is a contagious viral infection that can be spread through saliva or mucus and can be passed through sneezing, talking, kissing, sharing food and drinks, or touching objects with unwashed hands, DHEC said in the statement. (The Independent Mail)

“Considering the symptoms we heard the victims suffered, the ailment is a viral disease, and it is hemorrhagic because of the bleeding they had.” (The Punch)

Also among the show highlights: Collado, a star all night, and the virile Christopher Coomer gave audiences a peak at the devilish contemporary partnering in Welch’s new ballet “Just,” which premiered at the Jacob’s Pillow Festival in August, and the men whooped it up in the delightful “Kansas City” section of “Oklahoma!” that he recently choreographed for TUTS. (The Houston Chronicle)

On one hand, the naive sexual awakening as she flirts with Peter; on the other, the dark uncertainties of womanhood – creepily represented in Eleanor Rhode’s production by the turquoise ball gown she is given by Captain Hook, played by Gyuri Sarossy as an ageing baddie who fears Peter’s virile youth as much as his sword. (The Guardian)