Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
a paragon of virtue
One who has perfect, unimpeachable moral or ethical values; one who has no faults or imperfections. Often used ironically or sarcastically. He's up there criticizing people for going against the ethos of the church, but he's hardly a paragon of virtue himself. You don't have to be a paragon of virtue, I just expect you to treat others with the kindness and respect you would want for yourself.
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.
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.
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.
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!"
make a virtue of necessity
To attend to an obligation with a good attitude; to make the best of a situation in which one is required to do something. There will be many times in your life where you have to do something you don't want to, so it's best to learn very early how to make a virtue of necessity.
of easy virtue
Given to sexual promiscuity, especially in exchange for money. A derogatory euphemism said almost exclusively of a woman. Of course, a woman of easy virtue will be the first one to be blamed in such a situation, ostracized and condemned as she already is in the public eye. I think that Lord Stewart is spending time with a lady of easy virtue.
patience is a virtue
Having patience is a very beneficial trait that will improve one's life. A: "But Mommy, I want the ice cream NOW!" B: "Honey, I said you could have some after we got home. Patience is a virtue, you know." I've got to wait another two weeks to find out how I did on the exam. Oh well, I suppose patience is a virtue.
virtue is its own reward
Doing something because it is morally or ethically correct should be more important and satisfying than receiving some kind of tangible reward for doing so. A: "I went through all that trouble to find her missing dog, and all she gave me was a homemade cookie!" B: " Ah well, virtue is its own reward." No, thank you, I couldn't possibly accept that—virtue is its own reward, and I wouldn't feel comfortable taking money from you for what I did.
Publicly sharing or stating something, especially on social media or in a political context, that is intended to indicate and/or emphasize one's values or moral convictions. The term is often used in a derogatory way to criticize doing so as superficial or as intended to garner praise or admiration. I hope I'm wrong, but her anger about this issue strikes me as virtue signaling.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
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’.
make a virtue of necessityderive 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.
a paragon of ˈvirtuea person who is without faults; a completely perfect person: We don’t expect all election candidates to be paragons 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.
make a ˌvirtue of neˈcessityact 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
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
make a virtue of necessity, to
To make the best of things. This expression dates from the time of Chaucer, who may have been its originator in English (“Thanne is it wisdom, as it thinketh me, To maken virtu of necessitie,” The Knight’s Tale); there are still earlier versions in Latin. It has been repeated ever since. See also make the best of it.