virtuous

adjective
vir·​tu·​ous | \ ˈvər-chə-wəs How to pronounce virtuous (audio) , ˈvərch-wəs \

Definition of virtuous

1a : having or exhibiting virtue
b : morally excellent : righteous a virtuous decision
2 : chaste

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web Our harvest festival, Onam, imagines the annual visit of Mahabali, the virtuous Asura king whose subjects the people of Kerala were believed to be. Harish Pullanoor, Quartz India, "We, the permanent villains of Indian mythology, must reclaim our fallen icons," 30 Dec. 2019 Denver’s city council took the brave and virtuous step to save the world by taxing both our paper and plastic shopping bags 10 cents apiece. Jon Caldara, The Denver Post, "Caldara: Denver’s bag tax is a flawed attempt to control your behavior," 27 Dec. 2019 The core in keeping this virtuous cycle going in any location is in developing the factories, or the machines that build the machines. Glenn S. Daehn, The Conversation, "‘Robotic blacksmithing’: A technology that could revive US manufacturing," 11 Dec. 2019 These groups shared a grand narrative of America, in which rugged individualists and virtuous families built the country with Bibles in one hand and guns in the other. J.m. Opal, Quartz, "Trump will cling to power—and Republicans will cling to him," 18 Dec. 2019 The Enlightened Capitalists: Cautionary Tales of Business Pioneers Who Tried to Do Well by Doing Good, by James O’Toole (HarperCollins) Is there hope for the virtuous corporation? Heather Landy, Quartz at Work, "Five books to read now about the purpose of companies," 18 Dec. 2019 Anxiety was a natural state, too, for lonely Protestants who felt that wrestling doubt was a necessary feature of a virtuous Christian faith. The Economist, "Believe me The narrow path from faith to doubt," 17 Dec. 2019 Congress may not succeed in removing Trump, but that doesn’t make its duty to protect its constitutional rights as an equal branch any less vital or any less virtuous. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: Why just one thing or the other in work to address crime and prevent violence in St. Paul?," 28 Nov. 2019 Conservative isolationism had said America was too virtuous for involvement in the fallen world. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: The spiraling president adds self-impeachment to his repertoire," 13 Oct. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of virtuous

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for virtuous

see virtue

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Time Traveler for virtuous

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for virtuous

Last Updated

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Virtuous.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/virtuous. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for virtuous

virtuous

adjective
How to pronounce virtuous (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of virtuous

: morally good : having or showing virtue

virtuous

adjective
vir·​tu·​ous | \ ˈvər-chə-wəs How to pronounce virtuous (audio) \

Kids Definition of virtuous

: morally good : having or showing virtue

Other Words from virtuous

virtuously adverb act virtuously

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Comments on virtuous

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