The entry on 'virus' states that 'virii' is NOT the correct plural of virus, but rather a neologism. Shouldn't this then be reflected in the entry here? Rolf Schmidt 23:23, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

The Latin plural of "virus" is "viri." The English plural is Viruses, according to all modern dictionaries I could find. I don't know how anybody could think it's "virii" if they did a little research. --Williamrmck 17:13, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

"Viri" is not the Latin plural for virus. It is the plural of "vir", meaning "men". There is no Latin plural usage as the word is a mass noun that takes no plural form, but if it DID have a Latin plural some believe it would be "vira". Neuter second declension nouns (which this is) ending in -us (rather than -um) are so rare that there are no recorded plurals.
(above edit at 14:51, November 8, 2008 by
Many research papers do use the "hypothetically correct" Latin plural of vira, but they are vastly outweighed by the normal English plural of viruses. The plurals viri and virii probably started out as jokes, rather than from ignorance, but they seem to have been picked up by those with no knowledge of Latin, and are now used in blogs, and in computing circles. Because Wiktionary records usage, not "correctness", they have entries, but you will notice that the main entry carries the (proscribed) template to warn serious users of English that this is not the real plural. Dbfirs 12:18, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, and I am one of the offenders (;-). I've used virii to be amusing, and (IIRC) in print ... knowing that it wasn't corect in Latin either. And then it gets picked up by people who don't know better. I apologize for my part in devolving the language ... Robert Ullmann 12:41, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
(later) ... and virii would be the plural of virius, but I can't find Latin usage. Dbfirs 12:27, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

I think a lot of the people reaching this wiki page (including myself) are looking for the correct way to use this word. Can someone please write a non biased explanation? ...and why each way may or may not be considered correct. I think the fact that this word is arguably misused often is worthy of a caption in this article... even though there might not necessarily be a right or wrong way... perhaps explain why it has been used different ways. 06:57, 27 April 2011 (UTC)


Return to "virii" page.