virtue


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in virtue of (something)

Due to something; because of something; by reason of something. In virtue of your years of hard work and experience in the company, we think you would be well-suited to a managerial role within the company. I know that you feel the need to intervene in virtue of your role as a father, but you need to allow your children a greater degree of independence.
See also: of, virtue

lady of easy virtue

euphemism A prostitute. A: "I think that Lord Stewart is spending time with a lady of easy virtue." B: "No, surely not!"
See also: easy, lady, of, virtue

by virtue of (something)

Due to something; because of something; by reason of something. By virtue of your years of hard work and experience, we think you would be well-suited to a managerial role. I know that you feel the need to intervene by virtue of your role as a father, but you need to allow your children a greater degree of independence.
See also: of, virtue

extoll the virtues of (someone or something)

To highlight and praise the positive aspects of someone or something. My mother is always extolling the virtues of meditation, but it just doesn't do anything for me.
See also: extoll, of, virtue

by virtue of something

because of something; due to something. She's permitted to vote by virtue of her age. They are members of the club by virtue of their great wealth.
See also: of, virtue

make a virtue of necessity

Prov. to do what you have to do cheerfully or willingly. When Bill's mother became sick, there was no one but Bill to take care of her, so Bill made a virtue of necessity and resolved to enjoy their time together.
See also: make, necessity, of, virtue

Patience is a virtue.

Prov. It is good to be patient. Jill: I wish Mary would hurry up and call me back! Jane: Patience is a virtue. Fred: The doctor has kept us waiting for half an hour! If he doesn't call us into his office pretty soon, I may do something violent. Ellen: Calm down, dear. Patience is a virtue.
See also: patience, virtue

Virtue is its own reward.

Prov. You should not be virtuous in hopes of getting a reward, but because it makes you feel good to be virtuous. Bill: If I help you, will you pay me? Fred: Virtue is its own reward.
See also: own, reward, virtue

by virtue of

Also in virtue of. On the grounds of, by reason of, as in By virtue of a large inheritance she could easily afford not to work. [Early 1300s]
See also: of, virtue

make a virtue of necessity

Do the best one can under given circumstances, as in Since he can't break the contract, Bill's making a virtue of necessity. This expression first appeared in English in Chaucer's The Knight's Tale: "Then is it wisdom, as it thinketh me, to make virtue of necessity." Also see make the best of.
See also: make, necessity, of, virtue

of easy virtue

(of a woman) promiscuous.
Easy in the sense of ‘sexually compliant’ is found in Shakespeare 's Cymbeline: ‘Not a whit, Your lady being so easy’.
See also: easy, of, virtue

make a virtue of necessity

derive some credit or benefit from an unwelcome obligation.
This is a concept found in Latin in the writings of St Jerome: facis de necessitate virtutem ‘you make a virtue of necessity’. It passed into Old French (faire de necessité vertu ) and was apparently first used in English around 1374 by Chaucer in Troilus and Criseyde.
1997 Spectator How important it is for humanity always to make a virtue out of necessity.
See also: make, necessity, of, virtue

a paragon of ˈvirtue

a person who is without faults; a completely perfect person: We don’t expect all election candidates to be paragons of virtue.
See also: of, virtue

by/in ˈvirtue of something

(formal) because of something: I was invited to a party at the embassy simply by virtue of being British.
See also: of, something, virtue

make a ˌvirtue of neˈcessity

act in a good or moral way, and perhaps expect praise for this, not because you chose to but because in that particular situation you had no choice
See also: make, necessity, of, virtue

ˌvirtue is its own reˈward

(saying) the reward for acting in a moral or correct way is the knowledge that you have done so, and you should not expect more than this, for example praise from other people or payment
See also: own, reward, virtue
References in classic literature ?
The things, also, which are said to be such and such in virtue of these qualities, may be contrary the one to the other; for that which is unjust is contrary to that which is just, that which is white to that which is black.
However that may be, it is an incontrovertible fact that the things which in virtue of these qualities are said to be what they are vary in the degree in which they possess them; for one man is said to be better versed in grammar, or more healthy or just, than another, and so on.
One thing is like another only with reference to that in virtue of which it is such and such; thus this forms the peculiar mark of quality.
The knowledge of grammar is not relative to anything external, nor is the knowledge of music, but these, if relative at all, are relative only in virtue of their genera; thus grammar is said be the knowledge of something, not the grammar of something; similarly music is the knowledge of something, not the music of something.
Those particular branches, therefore, of knowledge, in virtue of which we are sometimes said to be such and such, are themselves qualities, and are not relative.
To the doctrine that virtue is knowledge, Plato has been constantly tending in the previous Dialogues.
He would not have preferred the poet or man of action to the philosopher, or the virtue of custom to the virtue based upon ideas.
Characteristic also of the temper of the Socratic enquiry is, (4) the proposal to discuss the teachableness of virtue under an hypothesis, after the manner of the mathematicians; and (5) the repetition of the favourite doctrine which occurs so frequently in the earlier and more Socratic Dialogues, and gives a colour to all of them--that mankind only desire evil through ignorance; (6) the experiment of eliciting from the slave-boy the mathematical truth which is latent in him, and (7) the remark that he is all the better for knowing his ignorance.
His definition of virtue as 'the power and desire of attaining things honourable,' like the first definition of justice in the Republic, is taken from a poet.
In the Republic the relation of knowledge to virtue is described in a manner more consistent with modern distinctions.
The problems of virtue and knowledge have been discussed in the Lysis, Laches, Charmides, and Protagoras; the puzzle about knowing and learning has already appeared in the Euthydemus.
Two virtues remain to be discovered in the State-first temperance, and then justice which is the end of our search.
And so, I said, we may consider three out of the four virtues to have been discovered in our State.
Then the power of each individual in the State to do his own work appears to compete with the other political virtues, wisdom, temperance, courage.
17) The need for different sensitivities in order to realize different aspects of one classical virtue is illustrated particularly well by the virtue of courage, which even Aristotle thought to be best discussed in terms of types.