[ vur-choo-uhs ]
See synonyms for: virtuousvirtuouslyvirtuousness on

  1. conforming to moral and ethical principles; morally excellent; upright: Lead a virtuous life.

  2. chaste: a virtuous young person.

Origin of virtuous

First recorded in 1300–50; alteration (with i from Latin ) of Middle English vertuous, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin virtuōsus, equivalent to Latin virtu(s) virtue + -ōsus -ous

Other words from virtuous

  • vir·tu·ous·ly, adverb
  • vir·tu·ous·ness, noun
  • non·vir·tu·ous, adjective
  • non·vir·tu·ous·ly, adverb
  • non·vir·tu·ous·ness, noun
  • qua·si-vir·tu·ous, adjective
  • qua·si-vir·tu·ous·ly, adverb
  • un·vir·tu·ous, adjective
  • un·vir·tu·ous·ly, adverb
  • un·vir·tu·ous·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use virtuous in a sentence

  • In other words, white athletes virtuously worked their tails off whereas black athletes simply coasted because they can.

  • How shall we, how can we virtuously bring up our motherless little sister?

    The Daisy Chain | Charlotte Yonge
  • The Corporation would virtuously disown him and leave him to face a ten-year rap in Penal Colony.

    Insidekick | Jesse Franklin Bone
  • She was virtuously knitting on a white rag, which was to receive a bright red border and was destined to dust Uncle Philip's desk.

    Maezli | Johanna Spyri
  • She doesn't like me at all, though I've been virtuously nice to her.

    Jane Journeys On | Ruth Comfort Mitchell
  • Many daughters have done virtuously but I shall excel them all.

    Jane Journeys On | Ruth Comfort Mitchell

British Dictionary definitions for virtuous


/ (ˈvɜːtʃʊəs) /

  1. characterized by or possessing virtue or moral excellence; righteous; upright

  2. (of women) chaste or virginal

Derived forms of virtuous

  • 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