virtuous

adjective
vir·tu·ous | \ ˈvər-chə-wəs , ˈvərch-wəs \

Definition of virtuous 

1a : having or exhibiting virtue

b : morally excellent : righteous a virtuous decision

2 : chaste

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from virtuous

virtuously adverb
virtuousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for virtuous

moral, ethical, virtuous, righteous, noble mean conforming to a standard of what is right and good. moral implies conformity to established sanctioned codes or accepted notions of right and wrong. the basic moral values of a community ethical may suggest the involvement of more difficult or subtle questions of rightness, fairness, or equity. committed to the highest ethical principles virtuous implies moral excellence in character. not a religious person, but virtuous nevertheless righteous stresses guiltlessness or blamelessness and often suggests the sanctimonious. wished to be righteous before God and the world noble implies moral eminence and freedom from anything petty, mean, or dubious in conduct and character. had the noblest of reasons for seeking office

Examples of virtuous in a Sentence

In a kind of virtuous circle, the "second tier" schools got better as applications rose and they could become choosier in assembling a class—which in turn raised the quality of the whole experience on campus and made the school more attractive to both topflight professors and the next wave of applicants. —Nancy Gibbs et al., Time, 21 Aug. 2006 In its quest to create ice cream as voluptuous as butter and as virtuous as broccoli, the ice cream industry has probed the depths of the Arctic Ocean, studied the intimate structures of algae and foisted numerous failures on the American public. —Julia Moskin, New York Times, 26 July 2006 Children born into high-income households become part of a virtuous circle of success. Parents with university degrees tend to earn more, set higher educational goals for their children, and invest more time in the children's schooling than parents who have a high-school education or less. —Laura D'Andrea Tyson, BusinessWeek, 7 July 2003 We redefined virtue as health. And considering the probable state of our souls, this was not a bad move. By relocating the seat of virtue from the soul to the pecs, the abs and the coronary arteries, we may not have become the most virtuous people on earth, but we surely became the most desperate for grace. We spend $5 billion a year on our health-club memberships, $2 billion on vitamins, nearly $1 billion on home exercise equipment, and $6 billion on sneakers to wear out on our treadmills and StairMasters. —Barbara Ehrenreich, Utne Reader, May/June 1992 She felt that she had made a virtuous decision by donating the money to charity. virtuous behavior is its own reward
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The honey whole wheat buns are a tad more healthful for the virtuous among us. Noelle Carter, charlotteobserver, "Grilling burgers this summer? Up your game with these homemade bun recipes," 6 July 2018 Each player made by turns virtuous and dubious decisions, but what’s perhaps more interesting than the choices themselves is the climate in which they were made and the period-specific rhetoric employed to express them. Noah Isenberg, The New Republic, "Making the Movies Un-American," 3 July 2018 The political left is getting nervous because a virtuous and lawful reduction in federal spending is suddenly looking much more likely. James Freeman, WSJ, "At Last, a Backlash against Federal Spending," 6 Apr. 2018 Here's why being a virtuous music listener feels harder than ever. Chris Richards, chicagotribune.com, "The 5 hardest questions in pop music," 3 July 2018 My rumbling gut says it’s too much to ask of fans, who for all their frustrations right now at least can feel complete conviction that their organization has virtuous priorities. Vahe Gregorian, kansascity, "The Royals are considering trying to sign Luke Heimlich. Here's why they shouldn't," 25 June 2018 As his assistant Ventura (Juan Minujín) starts behaving more like a rival and his landlord’s virtuous daughters sneak men into their bedrooms, Zama’s mask of rectitude slips and with it his grasp on reality. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Zama’ is Lucrecia Martel’s latest one-of-a-kind offering," 4 July 2018 On the one hand, the chicken nalu bowl ($8) is downright virtuous, a mix of rice and chicken in tahini-yogurt dressing, with onion, red bell pepper and carrot, plus fried chickpeas, a crunchy highlight. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "International flavors, down at the corner bar, are an American experience," 3 July 2018 However virtuous his causes, they are generally defined around his own leadership over pre-existing movements. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Fortune, "Why CEOs Make Great Politicians," 14 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of virtuous

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for virtuous

see virtue

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about virtuous

Statistics for virtuous

Last Updated

24 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for virtuous

The first known use of virtuous was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for virtuous

virtuous

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of virtuous

: morally good : having or showing virtue

virtuous

adjective
vir·tu·ous | \ ˈvər-chə-wəs \

Kids Definition of virtuous

: morally good : having or showing virtue

Other words from virtuous

virtuously adverb act virtuously

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on virtuous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for virtuous

Spanish Central: Translation of virtuous

Nglish: Translation of virtuous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of virtuous for Arabic Speakers

Comments on virtuous

What made you want to look up virtuous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!