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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. 2016.
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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
  • 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
  • There are limitations to the endurance of an unvirtuous man.

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

    Vendetta Marie Corelli
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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