make a virtue of necessity


To pretend that one is freely and happily doing something one has been forced to do: “Once the mayor was forced by the voters to cut his budget, he made a virtue of necessity and loudly denounced government spending.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with make a virtue of necessity

make a virtue of necessity

Do the best one can under given circumstances, as in Since he can't break the contract, Bill's making a virtue of necessity. This expression first appeared in English in Chaucer's The Knight's Tale: “Then is it wisdom, as it thinketh me, to make virtue of necessity.” Also see make the best of.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.