American English

Definition of virtue noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable] (formal) behavior or attitudes that show high moral standards He led a life of virtue. She was certainly no paragon of virtue!
  2. 2[countable] a particular good quality or habit Patience is not one of her virtues, I'm afraid. As a politician, he always emphasized the virtues of compromise and conciliation.
  3. 3[countable, uncountable] an attractive or useful quality synonym advantage The plan has the virtue of simplicity. He was extolling the virtues of the Internet. They could see no virtue in discussing it further.
  4. Idioms
    by/in virtue of something (formal)
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    by means of or because of something She got the job by virtue of her greater experience.
    make a virtue of necessity
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    to manage to gain an advantage from something that you have to do and cannot avoid She decided to make a virtue of necessity and combined a business trip to Paris with a visit to her cousins there.
    of easy virtue (old-fashioned)
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    (of a woman) willing to have sex with anyone
    virtue is its own reward (saying)
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    the reward for acting in a moral or correct way is the knowledge that you have done so, and you should not expect more than this, for example praise from other people or payment
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: virtue