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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 virtuously
Historical Examples
  • Like most parents, he enjoyed the game of waiting till the victim was clearly wrong, then virtuously pouncing.

    Babbitt Sinclair Lewis
  • "I like to do what's best for folks in the end," declared Mrs. Forbes virtuously.

    Jewel Clara Louise Burnham
  • It's usually the liver, and calomel is the last resource of the virtuously bilious.

    Painted Veils James Huneker
  • "And Hoodie didn't usplain a bit, not one bit," said Duke virtuously.

    Hoodie Mary Louisa Stewart Molesworth
  • You would not take this virtuously indignant gentleman for the uncle of a brigand, would you?

    Captain Brassbound's Conversion George Bernard Shaw
  • "I won't say I am sorry, because that would be a lie," said Sarah virtuously.

    Rosemary Josephine Lawrence
  • She virtuously resolved that for once I should be made of use, in assisting to improve the minds of the three plain young ladies.

    The Portal of Dreams Charles Neville Buck
  • "I shouldn't get it if 'e did," said Mr. Russell, virtuously.

  • I wont say anything about it to any one, said Myron virtuously.

    Full-Back Foster Ralph Henry Barbour
  • "I didn't say it and I'd die before I did," said I virtuously.

    At Good Old Siwash George Fitch
British Dictionary definitions for virtuously


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 virtuously



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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