virtue

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Related to virtues: Theological virtues

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 ?
Those conditions, however, which arise from causes which may easily be rendered ineffective or speedily removed, are called, not qualities, but affections: for we are not said to be such virtue of them.
I mean such conditions as insanity, irascibility, and so on: for people are said to be mad or irascible in virtue of these.
For instance, the name given to the runner or boxer, who is so called in virtue of an inborn capacity, is not derived from that of any quality; for lob those capacities have no name assigned to them.
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.
That passion which more than all others caused you to waver on the path of virtue," said the Mason.
After Socrates has given this specimen of the true nature of teaching, the original question of the teachableness of virtue is renewed.
Socrates has no difficulty in showing that virtue is a good, and that goods, whether of body or mind, must be under the direction of knowledge.
Socrates returns to the consideration of the question 'whether virtue is teachable,' which was denied on the ground that there are no teachers of it: (for the Sophists are bad teachers, and the rest of the world do not profess to teach).
And so, I said, we may consider three out of the four virtues to have been discovered in our State.
Because I think that this is the only virtue which remains in the State when the other virtues of temperance and courage and wisdom are abstracted; and, that this is the ultimate cause and condition of the existence of all of them, and while remaining in them is also their preservative; and we were saying that if the three were discovered by us, justice would be the fourth or remaining one.
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.
Good sleep they sought for themselves, and poppy-head virtues to promote it!
And not in vain did the youths sit before the preacher of virtue.
Even at present, to be sure, there are some like this preacher of virtue, and not always so honourable: but their time is past.
Besides displaying that beauty of virtue which may attract the admiration of mankind, I have attempted to engage a stronger motive to human action in her favour, by convincing men, that their true interest directs them to a pursuit of her.