Definition of virtue noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈvɜːtʃuː//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈvɜːrtʃuː//
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  1. 1[uncountable] (formal) behaviour or attitudes that show high moral standards He led a life of virtue. She was certainly no paragon of virtue! See related entries: Moral
  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. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French vertu, from Latin virtus ‘valour, merit, moral perfection’, from vir ‘man’.Extra examples He taught his children to practise/​practice the virtues of temperance and chastity. He understands the traditional virtue of hard work. Her book has the cardinal virtue of simplicity. It would have taken a paragon of virtue not to feel jealous. Philippe embodies the French virtues of charm and grace. She has just one, negative virtue—she never tells lies. She was seen as a paragon of domestic virtue. The brochure makes a positive virtue of the island’s isolated position. There is no inherent virtue in having read all the latest books. There is, of course. no inherent virtue in moderation. a story celebrating the virtues of democracy the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity women of easy virtue He was certainly no paragon of virtue! He was convinced of the inherent virtue of hard work. He was going on about the virtues of the Internet. She led a life of moral virtue. a woman of easy virtueIdioms
    by/in virtue of something
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    (formal) 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.
    (old-fashioned) (of a woman) willing to have sex with anyone
    virtue is its own reward
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    (saying) 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 American Dictionary entry: virtue