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

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 The conservative mayor, who won a second term in a landslide election in 2016 in a solidly Democratic city, has long separated his views from Trump and extolled the virtues of a strong cross-border relationship. Julie Watson, The Seattle Times, "San Diego mayor unveils plan to integrate immigrants," 4 Feb. 2019 Local supplies Green groups have long extolled the virtues of recycling sewage into potable drinking water. Joshua Emerson Smith, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego's efforts to divest from rival L.A. water agency have driven up rates for residents. Is it worth it?," 1 July 2018 After all, Allen could have simply made a phone call to extol the virtues of UConn, his alma mater, and Ollie, who along with Allen formed a dynamic Huskies backcourt between 1993 and 1995. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Breaking Down Kevin Ollie's Case Against UConn and the University's Likely Defenses," 29 June 2018 Now the same Republicans who condemned that move and an overture to a mean guy are extolling the virtues of the reach-out to the North Korean leader with President Trump. Fox News, "Steny Hoyer: We didn't get anything out of Kim Jong Un," 13 June 2018 The EMAs concluded with a reading by T.A. Barron from his Merlin Saga book series, that extolled the virtues of listening to and being close with the environment. Alex Cramer, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hollywood's Environmental Defenders Take Center Stage at the Environmental Media Awards," 23 May 2018 Trump himself embraced that philosophy - extolling the virtues of borrowing big, even more enthusiastically than other real estate executives. Anchorage Daily News, "As the 'king of debt,' Trump borrowed to build his empire. Then he began spending hundreds of millions in cash.," 6 May 2018 But there are other virtues for Trump in a midterm loss. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "No, free market conservatives are not becoming Dems," 31 July 2018

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

19 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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