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virtu

or ver·tu

[ver-too, vur-too]
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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.
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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 virtus

Historical Examples

  • The first movement of will and of any appetitive faculty (virtus) is amor.

    The Mediaeval Mind (Volume II of II)

    Henry Osborn Taylor

  • Libenter igitur gloriabor in infirmitatibus meis, ut inhabitet in me virtus Christi.

  • Such a dot can be seen in a similar place upon two or three coins bearing the legend Virtus Exercit.

    The Non-Christian Cross

    John Denham Parsons

  • It is the method of Molière's doctors, with their virtus dormitivus of opium, applied to sociology.

  • They admitted, as we know from Molire, the virtus dormitiva of opium, for no other reason than that opium facit dormire.


British Dictionary definitions for virtus

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)
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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 virtus

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper