[ver-too, vur-too]
excellence or merit in objects of art, curios, and the like.
(used with a plural verb) such objects or articles collectively.
a taste for or knowledge of such objects.
Also, vertu.

1715–25; < Italian virtù, vertù virtue Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
virtu or vertu (vɜːˈtuː)
1.  a taste or love for curios or works of fine art; connoisseurship
2.  such objects collectively
3.  the quality of being rare, beautiful, or otherwise appealing to a connoisseur (esp in the phrases articles of virtu; objects of virtu)
[C18: from Italian virtù; see virtue]
vertu or vertu
[C18: from Italian virtù; see virtue]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"excellence in an object of art, passion for works of art," 1722, from It. virtu "excellence," from L. virtutem (nom. virtus) "virtue" (see virtue). The same word as virtue, borrowed during a period when everything Italian was in vogue. Sometimes spelled vertu, after Fr.,
but this is unjustified, as this sense of the word is not in Fr.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
They all spoke to the wealth, taste and virtu of their owner.
These mounts allow you to operate virtu ally any weapon system in confined spaces.
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