Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Having or showing virtue, especially moral excellence: led a virtuous life.
  • adj. Possessing or characterized by chastity; pure: a virtuous woman. See Synonyms at moral.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Full of virtue, having excellent moral character.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Possessing or exhibiting virtue.
  • adj. Exhibiting manly courage and strength; valorous; valiant; brave.
  • adj. Having power or efficacy; powerfully operative; efficacious; potent.
  • adj. Having moral excellence; characterized by morality; upright; righteous; pure.
  • adj. Chaste; pure; -- applied especially to women.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having or exhibiting manly strength and courage; valorous; brave; gallant.
  • Possessed of or exhibiting virtue; morally good; acting in conformity with right; discharging moral duties and obligations, and abstaining from immoral practices: as, a virtuous man.
  • Being in conformity to the moral or divine law: as, a virtuous deed; a virtuous life.
  • Chaste; pure; modest.
  • Efficacious by inherent qualities; having singular or eminent properties or powers; potent; effective.
  • = Syn. 2 and 3. Upright, exemplary, worthy, righteous. See morality.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. morally excellent
  • adj. in a state of sexual virginity

Etymologies

From Middle English, Anglo Norman, ultimately from Late Latin virtuōsus, from Latin virtūs. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • * The cardinal* (* 9*) * virtues* are the _hinge_-virtues, those on which the character _hinges_ or turns, those, the possession of all which, would constitute a virtuous character, while the absence of any one of them would justly forfeit for a man the epithet _virtuous_.

    A Manual of Moral Philosophy

  • Bünger uses the phrase "recursive decontenting" to describe what he called a virtuous cycle in automobile manufacturing: cutting mass, retaining power and increasing efficiency.

    Future Is Now for Green Cars

  • I found the IMF chief's multiple usage of the word "virtuous" quite appropriate, if not targeted to tug at the hearts of the Chinese.

  • News analyst Ken Doctor of Outsell recently wrote of what he called the virtuous cycle created by charging your most loyal online readers - who are presumably those invested enough in your news outlet to pay.

    NPR Topics: News

  • The job growth was better than economists expected and perhaps the strongest sign yet that what they call a "virtuous cycle" has taken hold: When people spend more, corporate earnings rise, leading to more hiring and then more spending.

    The Seattle Times

  • What, in basketball, is called an assist, in morality, is called virtuous complicity.

    Getting Godless

  • In the particular case [of the CRU emails], calling for scientists to take the moral high ground, and to be more virtuous, is roughly the equivalent of suggesting that victims of sexual assault should act more virtuous.

    2010 April 9 | Serendipity

  • This argument that scientists should somehow be more virtuous is a huge fallacy.

    Who is pulling the strings? | Serendipity

  • In this particular case, calling for scientists to take the moral high ground, and to be more virtuous, is roughly the equivalent of suggesting that victims of sexual assault should act more virtuous.

    Who is pulling the strings? | Serendipity

  • He left all for the sake of certain virtuous self-indulgences.

    July « 2008 « poetry dispatch & other notes from the underground

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