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virtue

[vur-choo] /ˈvɜr tʃu/
noun
1.
moral excellence; goodness; righteousness.
2.
conformity of one's life and conduct to moral and ethical principles; uprightness; rectitude.
3.
chastity; virginity:
to lose one's virtue.
4.
a particular moral excellence.
5.
a good or admirable quality or property:
the virtue of knowing one's weaknesses.
6.
effective force; power or potency:
a charm with the virtue of removing warts.
7.
virtues, an order of angels.
Compare angel (def 1).
8.
manly excellence; valor.
Idioms
9.
by / in virtue of, by reason of; because of:
to act by virtue of one's legitimate authority.
10.
make a virtue of necessity, to make the best of a difficult or unsatisfactory situation.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; alteration (with i < Latin) of Middle English vertu < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin virtūt- (stem of virtūs) maleness, worth, virtue, equivalent to vir man (see virile) + -tūt- abstract noun suffix
Related forms
virtueless, adjective
virtuelessness, noun
nonvirtue, noun
Synonyms
1. See goodness. 2. probity, integrity.
Antonyms
1. vice.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for virtues
  • We are clinging to the supposed virtues of high school athletics with particular zeal.
  • And the shift to private funds threatens those virtues.
  • He is considered honest and frugal, rare virtues in a country with eye-popping graft.
  • When her answers were accepted, her many virtues were extolled in a praise song.
  • The virtues of medical findings are found in the help of a particular individual.
  • During the intervening four centuries others have showered her with virtues.
  • Of course, you'd expect a local winemaker to extol the virtues of her region's product.
  • Frugality is not high upon the list of defining virtues of the real doll enthusiast archetype.
  • High among its virtues is that it makes inertia all but impossible to sustain.
  • Most merely tout the virtues of a particular destination.
British Dictionary definitions for virtues

virtues

/ˈvɜːtjuːz; -tʃuːz/
plural noun
1.
(often capital) the fifth of the nine orders into which the angels are traditionally divided in medieval angelology

virtue

/ˈvɜːtjuː; -tʃuː/
noun
1.
the quality or practice of moral excellence or righteousness
2.
a particular moral excellence: the virtue of tolerance
3.
any of the cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance) or theological virtues (faith, hope, and charity)
4.
any admirable quality, feature, or trait
5.
chastity, esp in women
6.
(archaic) an effective, active, or inherent power or force
7.
by virtue of, in virtue of, on account of or by reason of
8.
make a virtue of necessity, to acquiesce in doing something unpleasant with a show of grace because one must do it in any case
Derived Forms
virtueless, adjective
Word Origin
C13: vertu, from Old French, from Latin virtūs manliness, courage, from vir man
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for virtues

virtue

n.

early 13c., "moral life and conduct, moral excellence," vertu, from Anglo-French and Old French vertu, from Latin virtutem (nominative virtus) "moral strength, manliness, valor, excellence, worth," from vir "man" (see virile).

For my part I honour with the name of virtue the habit of acting in a way troublesome to oneself and useful to others. [Stendhal "de l'Amour," 1822]
Phrase by virtue of (early 13c.) preserves alternative Middle English sense of "efficacy." Wyclif Bible has virtue where KJV uses power. The seven cardinal virtues (early 14c.) were divided into the natural (justice, prudence, temperance, fortitude) and the theological (hope, faith, charity). To make a virtue of a necessity (late 14c.) translates Latin facere de necessitate virtutem [Jerome].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with virtues
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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