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English Derivatives: Vir

by Lauren Conant
(Albany)

What English derivatives come from the Latin term "vir"?


Dear Lauren,

The word vir, meaning man, has several common English derivatives:

virtue: the first meaning of virtue is manliness or courage, from the Latin word virtus. Other meanings, such as goodness and chastity and moral excellence, came later. See other derivatives, such as virtual, virtuosity, virtuoso, etc.

virile, virility: these words still have the strong connotation of male strength and power.


After those two, there are many less common words related to vir:

virilescence: The assumption of male characteristics by a female.

virilisation: the development of male characteristics in a female or a young boy.

virilocal: living with or located near the husband's father's side of the family.


Then there are words related to virus, meaning poison. This word IS NOT related to the word for man, although many would make strong arguments to correlate the two!

NOT RELATED:

virulent
virus
virulence

Hope this helps, and thanks for asking a Latin teacher.

Sincerely,

John

P.S. You can start learning Latin now with Rosetta Stone!



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