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virtue (n.)

13世纪 , vertu ,"道德生活和行为;一种特殊的道德优秀,"来自英法和古法语 vertu "武力、力量、活力;道德力量;品质、能力"(10世纪古法语),来自拉丁语 virtutem (名词 virtus )"道德力量、高尚品格、善良;男子气概;英勇、勇敢、勇气(在战争中);优秀、价值",来自 vir "男人"(来自PIE根 *wi-ro- "男人")。

For my part I honour with the name of virtue the habit of acting in a way troublesome to oneself and useful to others. [Stendhal "de l'Amour," 1822]

特别是(在女性中)"贞洁、性纯洁",出自1590年代。短语 by virtue of (13世纪初)保留了"功效"的另一种中英意义。怀克里夫圣经有 virtue ,KJV用 powerseven cardinal virtues (14世纪初)分为自然的(正义、谨慎、节制、坚韧)和神学的(希望、信仰、慈善)。以 make a virtue of a necessity (14世纪末)翻译拉丁文 facere de necessitate virtutem [杰罗姆]。

Origin and meaning of virtue

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Definitions of virtue from WordNet

virtue (n.)
the quality of doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong;
Synonyms: virtuousness / moral excellence
virtue (n.)
any admirable quality or attribute;
Synonyms: merit
virtue (n.)
morality with respect to sexual relations;
Synonyms: chastity / sexual morality
virtue (n.)
a particular moral excellence;
From wordnet.princeton.edu