: the act or practice of conspicuously displaying one's awareness of and attentiveness to political issues, matters of social and racial justice, etc., especially instead of taking effective action
And who benefits from displays of woke virtue signaling?—Veronique de Rugy [San Francisco Giants manager Gabe] Kapler has said he won't participate in the [national] anthem, as [an] act of protest over gun violence in the United States. … He'll be accused of virtue signaling, and of being self-serving.—Sean Gregory We are not leaders in the fight against global climate change. We are stooges in a mock show of virtue signalling.—Rex Murphy We are living in the age of virtue-signalling with glib soundbites from glibber politicians seeking to address fundamental and complex issues with 280 characters on Twitter.—Nick Dalgarno
plural virtue signals
This narrative is fed by social media and endorsed by the usual clutch of celebrities, forever eager to radiate their virtue signals across the globe.
verb, transitive + intransitive
or less commonly virtue-signal
virtue signaled also virtue signalled or virtue-signaled or virtue-signalled; virtue signaling also virtue signalling or virtue-signaling or virtue-signalling; virtue signals also virtue-signals
For now, we can only dream of a time—not too far off—when the wokest among us will virtue signal by broadcasting the fact that their yoga pants are made of mushrooms.
—Sarah Rose Sharp
These are the folk who like to play at rustic living and to virtue signal their support for the community by 'shopping locally'.
Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!