Definition of virtuous in English:


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  • 1Having or showing high moral standards.

    ‘she considered herself very virtuous because she neither drank nor smoked’
    • ‘That's why part of the school's mission is to build ‘a diverse, virtuous and moral America,’ he said.’
    • ‘Should applications of technology be socially virtuous by any standard?’
    • ‘Indeed, a parent who made his love conditional upon a child's maintaining some particular standard of virtuous behavior would be rightly regarded as something of a monster.’
    • ‘These guidelines state that if physicians must be moral and virtuous, the associations representing them must exhibit the same qualities and be seen to be acting in an altruistic fashion.’
    • ‘He is a virtuous, moral man with dignity and strength, not the mild-mannered pushover of decades past.’
    • ‘Many have thought that having certain emotions is an important part of what it is to be a virtuous moral agent.’
    • ‘The consummation, the crowning glory of a well-lived life, happiness would be granted only to the worthy, the virtuous, the god-like happy few.’
    • ‘For one thing, the sanctimonious sermons by journalists about how virtuous and upstanding they are make them easy to detest.’
    • ‘Athlete behavior is meant to be exemplary and virtuous and sustain the rags to riches myths of successful sports stars from humble origins.’
    • ‘It's hypocritical in the sense that these people all lie yet proclaim themselves virtuous and honest, yes.’
    • ‘I've seen Titanic enough times to know that rich people are fatuous and greedy, while poor people are noble and virtuous.’
    • ‘Religions and true religious leaders have always motivated us to indulge only in noble thoughts and virtuous actions.’
    • ‘He presented himself as an honest and virtuous man, a spokesman for the outsiders in society.’
    • ‘The women's critique broke down views of virtue and vice that associated smoke with virtuous masculine industriousness and clean air with vicious feminized luxury.’
    • ‘I, for one, from reading the Book of Job and having knowledge about the Eightfold Path would know that I have done the right thing by being virtuous since it would aid me in achieving nirvana.’
    • ‘Virgos are virtuous, ethical and kind-hearted.’
    • ‘Understanding the way karma works, we seek to live a good and virtuous life through right thought, right speech and right action.’
    • ‘Another feature of ceremonial discourse is that it will praise the virtuous and the good because it is designed for its receiver's pleasure.’
    • ‘Being virtuous means knowing the right time, place, circumstance, and manner in which to be courageous.’
    • ‘The first few pages of the letter reflect the virtuous principles that a mother would try to inculcate into her daughter in the 18th century.’
    righteous, good, moral, morally correct, ethical, upright, upstanding, high-minded, right-minded, right-thinking, principled, exemplary, clean, law-abiding, lawful, irreproachable, blameless, guiltless, unimpeachable, just, honest, honourable, unbribable, incorruptible, anti-corruption
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    1. 1.1 archaic Chaste (typically used of a woman).
      ‘Faithful Emilia died, still calmly defending Desdemona's innocence and proclaiming her love for the virtuous woman.’
      • ‘Both serials harked back to a period when men were heroic, women were virtuous and times were better.’
      • ‘Arthurian quests in the name of chivalry, knight-errants fighting for the love and honor of a virtuous woman lose out in these Arthurian storylines to Arthur's subduing of countless lands.’
      • ‘Shakespeare places a high value upon chastity, but he does not go so far as some of his contemporaries who thought that virtuous women had no physical desires.’
      • ‘The price of a virtuous woman, says Proverbs, is more than that of rubies.’
      virginal, virgin, chaste, maidenly, vestal, celibate, abstinent
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/ˈvərCH(ə)wəs/ /ˈvərtʃ(ə)wəs/


Middle English from Old French vertuous, from late Latin virtuosus, from virtus ‘virtue’.