[ vur-choo ]
/ ˈvɜr tʃu /



    by/in virtue of, by reason of; because of: to act by virtue of one's legitimate authority.
    make a virtue of necessity, to make the best of a difficult or unsatisfactory situation.

Origin of virtue

1175–1225; alteration (with i < Latin) of Middle English vertu < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin virtūt- (stem of virtūs) maleness, worth, virtue, equivalent to vir man (see virile) + -tūt- abstract noun suffix


1 See goodness.
2 probity, integrity.

Related forms

vir·tue·less, adjectivevir·tue·less·ness, nounnon·vir·tue, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for virtues

British Dictionary definitions for virtues (1 of 2)


/ (ˈvɜːtjuːz, -tʃuːz) /

pl n

(often capital) the fifth of the nine orders into which the angels are traditionally divided in medieval angelology

British Dictionary definitions for virtues (2 of 2)


/ (ˈvɜːtjuː, -tʃuː) /


Derived Forms

virtueless, adjective

Word Origin for virtue

C13: vertu, from Old French, from Latin virtūs manliness, courage, from vir man
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

Idioms and Phrases with virtues


see by virtue of; make a virtue of necessity.

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