AskDefine | Define virile

Dictionary Definition

virile adj
1 characterized by energy and vigor; "a virile and ever stronger free society"; "a new and virile leadership"
2 characteristic of a man; "a deep male voice"; "manly sports" [syn: male, manful, manlike, manly]
3 (of a male) able to copulate [syn: potent] [ant: impotent]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From virilis

Pronunciation

Adjective

  1. Being manly; having characteristics associated with being male, such as strength; exhibiting masculine traits to an exaggerated degree such as strength, forcefulness or vigor.

Translations

masculine

Derived terms

French

Adjective

virile
  1. feminine of viril

Italian

Etymology

From virilis

Adjective

  1. virile

Synonyms

Antonyms

Derived terms

Latin

Adjective

virīle
  1. neuter of virilis

Romanian

Adjective

virile

Extensive Definition

Virility refers to any of a wide range of masculine characteristics viewed positively. It is not applicable to women or to negative characteristics. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED1) says virile is "marked by strength or force." Virility is commonly associated with vigour, health, sturdiness, and constitution, especially in the fathering of children. In this last sense, virility is to men as fertility is to women. OED1 also notes an obsolete use of virile in this sense for a "nubile" young woman — "a maide that is Mariageable or ripe for a Husband, or Virill."
The word itself is derived from the Latin word vir meaning simply "man" (in a gender specific sense). The German for "virility" is Manneskraft — the strength of a man. Historically, masculine attributes such as beard growth have been seen as signs of virility and leadership (for example in ancient Egypt and Rome).
As a term for positive reference, virility does not accord with feminisms that put forward various deconstructions of masculinity. According to these points of view, virility is redefined as an outdated abstraction, impacting negatively on women via unwanted sexual activity, and unwanted pregnancies.

Compare with

Citations

References

virile in German: Manneskraft

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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