virtue

noun
vir·​tue | \ ˈvər-(ˌ)chü How to pronounce virtue (audio) \

Definition of virtue

1a : conformity to a standard of right : morality
b : a particular moral excellence
2 : a beneficial quality or power of a thing
3 : manly strength or courage : valor
4 : a commendable quality or trait : merit
5 : a capacity to act : potency
6 : chastity especially in a woman
7 virtues plural : an order of angels — see celestial hierarchy
by virtue of or in virtue of
: through the force of : by authority of

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Other Words from virtue

virtueless \ ˈvər-​(ˌ)chü-​ləs How to pronounce virtueless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of virtue in a Sentence

He led me across the concrete floor, through a concrete warehouse, and to the concrete screening room, where he began to extol the virtue and beauty of his eleven-mile-long sewage interceptor. — Frederick Kaufman, Harper's, February 2008 Disinterestedness was the most common term the founders used as a synonym for the classical conception of virtue or self-sacrifice; it better conveyed the threats from interests that virtue seemed increasingly to face in the rapidly commercializing eighteenth century. — Gordon S. Wood, Revolutionary Characters, 2006 It was not only his title that made Poor Richard—and by extension [Benjamin] Franklin—an honorary Frenchman. He may well have devoted a great amount of ink to virtue and order, but he checked those concepts at the door of the beau monde; he made it clear that he was not too good for that world … — Stacy Schiff, A Great Improvisation, 2005 Nerviness is considered a virtue, a good machine, an energy that builds nations, businesses and dynasties. Handed down from generation to generation, like a caustic strand of DNA, it infects the unhappy, the unfortunate and the unlucky, and turns them into desperate strivers, prepared to do anything to realize their ridiculous ambitions. — David Byrne, The New Sins/Los Nuevos Pecados, 2001 Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall … — William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, 1605 the virtue of wool as a clothing material is that it can provide insulation from the cold even when wet a lady of honor and virtue
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Recent Examples on the Web

But the real question is whether the region can chart a less predictable course — and whether its success can come not simply as a byproduct of Napa land politics but by virtue of its landscape’s inherent promise for high-quality wine. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "The rise of the Red Hills of Lake County," 1 June 2018 The restaurant retains a special place in the pizza pantheon by virtue of having been around for so long, one pizzeria tour guide says. Charles Passy, WSJ, "Historian Challenges Lombardi’s Pizza Primacy," 15 Feb. 2019 For veterans, who trusted their lives to those around them and to the virtues of teamwork, this might seem natural. Mark Sappenfield, The Christian Science Monitor, "How to change Washington," 27 May 2018 Self-respect, solidarity, sacrifice and fortitude are among the virtues of the oppressed. Time Staff, Time, "10 Historians on What People Still Don't Know About Martin Luther King Jr.," 4 Apr. 2018 Hatch has staked much of his professional career on a belief in the virtues of direct democracy. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Buda firm does the heavy lifting for firefighters’ petition drive," 1 Mar. 2018 That congress is even contemplating pension reform is testimony to the virtues of Brazil’s centrist, pro-business president, Michel Temer. The Economist, "Parading towards disasterMichel Temer is trying to fix Brazil’s pension systems," 15 Feb. 2018 The garbagemen were all from the hill country around Genoa, and Stefanelli talks of the Genovese virtues: hard work, being careful with money. Carl Nolte, San Francisco Chronicle, "Garbageman collects respect by transforming trash industry," 20 Jan. 2018 Scott Rechler, a developer and chairman of the Regional Plan Association, through the RPA spent more than $100,000 for a television advertisement extolling the virtues of the plan. Paul Berger, WSJ, "Unusual Alliance Leads Congestion-Pricing Movement," 21 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'virtue.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of virtue

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for virtue

Middle English vertu, virtu, from Anglo-French, from Latin virtut-, virtus strength, manliness, virtue, from vir man — more at virile

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Statistics for virtue

Last Updated

30 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for virtue

The first known use of virtue was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for virtue

virtue

noun

English Language Learners Definition of virtue

: morally good behavior or character
: a good and moral quality
: the good result that comes from something

virtue

noun
vir·​tue | \ ˈvər-chü How to pronounce virtue (audio) \

Kids Definition of virtue

1 : morally good behavior or character We were urged to lead lives of virtue.
2 : a good, moral, or desirable quality Patience is a virtue.
3 : the good result that comes from something I learned the virtue of hard work.
by virtue of
: because of : through the force of She succeeded by virtue of persistence.

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Comments on virtue

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