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virtu

or ver·tu

[ver-too, vur-too]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. excellence or merit in objects of art, curios, and the like.
  2. (used with a plural verb) such objects or articles collectively.
  3. a taste for or knowledge of such objects.

Origin of virtu

1715–25; < Italian virtù, vertù virtue
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for virtu

Historical Examples

  • Many are chosen, as you see, with little deference to the opinions of Virtu.

    The Works of Edgar Allan Poe

    Edgar Allan Poe

  • By John Jones, Esq., pictures and virtu amounting to 240,000.

    Travels in South Kensington

    Moncure Daniel Conway

  • On every side was to be seen rich hangings and articles of virtu.

  • That is a country replete with articles of virtu, the only thing is to find them.

  • For virtu, I have a little to entertain you—it is my sole pleasure.

    The Wits and Beaux of Society

    Grace &amp; Philip Wharton


British Dictionary definitions for virtu

virtu

vertu

noun
  1. a taste or love for curios or works of fine art; connoisseurship
  2. such objects collectively
  3. the quality of being rare, beautiful, or otherwise appealing to a connoisseur (esp in the phrases articles of virtu; objects of virtu)

Word Origin

C18: from Italian virtù; see virtue
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

Word Origin and History for virtu

n.

"excellence in an object of art, passion for works of art," 1722, from Italian virtu "excellence," from Latin virtutem (nominative virtus) "virtue" (see virtue). The same word as virtue, borrowed during a period when everything Italian was in vogue. Sometimes spelled vertu, after French, but this is unjustified, as this sense of the word is not in French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper