Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1100-1200
Language: Old French
Origin: virtu, from Latin virtus 'strength, virtue', from vir 'man'

virtue

noun
     
vir‧tue W3
1 [uncountable] formal moral goodness of character and behaviour [≠ vice]:
Women have often been used as symbols of virtue.
2 [countable] a particular good quality in someone's character [≠ vice]:
Among her many virtues are loyalty, courage, and truthfulness.
3 [uncountable and countable] an advantage that makes something better or more useful than something else
virtue of
Adam Smith believed in the virtues of free trade.
Wilkins is now extolling (=praising very much) the virtues of organic farming.
4

by virtue of something

formal by means of, or as a result of something:
She became a British resident by virtue of her marriage.
5

make a virtue of necessity

to get an advantage out of doing something that you have to do

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