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[vur-choo-uh s] /ˈvɜr tʃu əs/
conforming to moral and ethical principles; morally excellent; upright:
Lead a virtuous life.
a virtuous young person.
Origin of virtuous
1300-50; alteration (with i < Latin) of Middle English vertuous < Anglo-French < Late Latin virtuōsus, equivalent to Latin virtu(s) virtue + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
virtuously, adverb
virtuousness, noun
nonvirtuous, adjective
nonvirtuously, adverb
nonvirtuousness, noun
quasi-virtuous, adjective
quasi-virtuously, adverb
unvirtuous, adjective
unvirtuously, adverb
unvirtuousness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for virtuous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Never before have I felt so fondly disposed towards a woman, never so virtuous.

    Moscow Fred Whishaw
  • It is composed of a brave, a free, a virtuous, and an intelligent people.

  • If the spirit is right and leads to virtuous conduct in life, any reasonable belief will quite do.

    Notes on Islam Ahmed Hussain
  • That this should be so in the case of his virtuous and legal connection he was perfectly certain.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • But no claim of this description is made for the virtuous man by the utilitarian doctrine.

    Utilitarianism John Stuart Mill
British Dictionary definitions for virtuous


characterized by or possessing virtue or moral excellence; righteous; upright
(of women) chaste or virginal
Derived Forms
virtuously, adverb
virtuousness, noun
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 virtuous

late 14c., "chaste" (of women), from virtue + -ous. Earlier it was used in a sense of "valiant, valorous, manly" (c.1300).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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