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[vur-choo-uh s] /ˈvɜr tʃu əs/
conforming to moral and ethical principles; morally excellent; upright:
Lead a virtuous life.
a virtuous young person.
Origin of virtuous
1300-50; alteration (with i < Latin) of Middle English vertuous < Anglo-French < Late Latin virtuōsus, equivalent to Latin virtu(s) virtue + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
virtuously, adverb
virtuousness, noun
nonvirtuous, adjective
nonvirtuously, adverb
nonvirtuousness, noun
quasi-virtuous, adjective
quasi-virtuously, adverb
unvirtuous, adjective
unvirtuously, adverb
unvirtuousness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unvirtuous
Historical Examples
  • But I can promise you, I said, that every unvirtuous person will want to learn.

    Euthydemus Plato
  • There are limitations to the endurance of an unvirtuous man.

    Painted Veils James Huneker
  • France is unvirtuous enough, God knows, yet there is a sunshiny smile on her lips that cheers the heart.

    Vendetta Marie Corelli
  • Italy is also unvirtuous, yet her voice is full of bird-like melody, and her face is a dream of perfect poetry!

    Vendetta Marie Corelli
  • It was something, at least, that the plastic and not unvirtuous nature of the young man was directed towards a definite object.

  • What pleasures are to be compared with those of the unvirtuous Virtuoso.

  • And there a horrible blank tells of some unvirtuous borrower who has decapitated a valuable set by carrying off volume number one.

    The Chautauquan, Vol. III, December 1882 The Chautauquan Literary and Scientific Circle
British Dictionary definitions for unvirtuous


characterized by or possessing virtue or moral excellence; righteous; upright
(of women) chaste or virginal
Derived Forms
virtuously, adverb
virtuousness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unvirtuous



late 14c., "chaste" (of women), from virtue + -ous. Earlier it was used in a sense of "valiant, valorous, manly" (c.1300).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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