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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.
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for virtuous
  • The essence is to lock yourself into a virtuous path.
  • Cheese and fruit juice are not virtuous foods, don't use a lot of them.
  • The result is a virtuous cycle where openness becomes the norm, encouraging even more participation.
  • The challenge, then, is how to incorporate the virtuous bean into everyday meals with little fuss.
  • Students are asked to affirm that they will practice virtuous conduct as members of an academic community.
  • It is not that our admissions staff is more virtuous than others.
  • It can't be repeated often enough that wicked people can be learned aesthetes, and ignorant people kind and virtuous.
  • Please take a moment to think about how positively virtuous you are.
  • She is a cruel and voracious she-wolf in deceptively virtuous sheep's clothing.
  • Talk is of a virtuous circle in which growth feeds expertise, which feeds investment.
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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