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viral

adjective broadening, metaphor
Widespread and well known in popular culture, generally through the Internet. This metaphorically relates the way a virus travels from person to person, creating an ever-bigger network of people infected, to how something goes from person to person on the Internet until it is hugely popular. This phenomenon usually happens with videos, so "viral" was first used this way in the phrase "viral video". However, now the term has broadened so it can apply to other pop culture things as well.
 
It was so popular; it went viral in just a few days.
Etymology : broadening from "viral video"; metaphor from "viral"- from Latin "virus"
Source : web site, July 2008
Last modified: 8 December 2010


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