from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Moral excellence and righteousness; goodness.
- n. An example or kind of moral excellence: the virtue of patience.
- n. Chastity, especially in a woman.
- n. A particularly efficacious, good, or beneficial quality; advantage: a plan with the virtue of being practical.
- n. Effective force or power: believed in the virtue of prayer.
- n. Christianity The fifth of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology.
- n. Obsolete Manly courage; valor.
- idiom by On the grounds or basis of; by reason of: well-off by virtue of a large inheritance.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Manly strength or courage; bravery; daring; spirit; valor.
- n. Active quality or power; capacity or power adequate to the production of a given effect; energy; strength; potency; efficacy.
- n. Energy or influence operating without contact of the material or sensible substance.
- n. Excellence; value; merit; meritoriousness; worth.
- n. Specifically, moral excellence; integrity of character; purity of soul; performance of duty.
- n. A particular moral excellence.
- n. Specifically: Chastity; purity; especially, the chastity of women; virginity.
- n. One of the orders of the celestial hierarchy.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Manly spirit; bravery; valor; daring; courage.
- n. Moral goodness; the practice of moral duties and the conformity of life and conversation to the moral law; uprightness; rectitude; morality: the opposite of vice.
- n. A particular moral excellence: as, the virtue of temperance or of charity.
- n. Specifically, female purity; chastity.
- n. Any good quality, merit, or admirable faculty.
- n. An inherent power; a property capable of producing certain effects; strength; force; potency; efficacy; influence, especially active influence, and often medicinal efficacy.
- n. One of the orders of the celestial hierarchy. The virtues are often represented in art as angels in complete armor, bearing pennons and battle-axes.
- n. A mighty work; a miracle.
- n. Synonyms Morals, Ethics, etc. (see morality); probity, integrity, rectitude, worth.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. any admirable quality or attribute
- n. morality with respect to sexual relations
- n. a particular moral excellence
- n. the quality of doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong
Middle English vertu, from Old French, from Latin virtūs, manliness, excellence, goodness, from vir, man.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English vertu, from Anglo-Norman vertu, Middle French vertu, from Latin virtus ("manliness, bravery, worth, moral excellence"), from vir ("man"); see virile. (Wiktionary)