c. 1200, in reference to the Christian virtue, "benevolent, kind, manifesting Christian love in its highest and broadest form," from Old French charitable, from charité (see charity). Meaning "liberal in treatment of the poor" is from c. 1400; that of "inclined to impute favorable motives to others" is from 1620s. Related: Charitableness; charitably.
"person who rules or sways a community or society by virtue of his wealth; person possessing power or influence solely or mainly on account of his riches," 1838, a back-formation from plutocracy. Related: Plutocratic (1843); plutocratical (1833).
"government by the wealthy class; a class ruling by virtue of wealth," 1650s, from Greek ploutokratia "rule or power of the wealthy or of wealth," from ploutos "wealth" (see Pluto) + -kratia "rule" (see -cracy). Synonym plutarchy is slightly older (1640s). Pluto-democracy "plutocracy masquerading as democracy" is from 1895.
late 15c., "ruling, controlling, directing with authority, of great or controlling importance," present-participle adjective from command (v.). Meaning "nobly dignified, compelling respect, characteristic of one fitted for command" is from 1590s. Meaning "dominant by virtue of size or position" is from 1630s. Related: Commandingly (mid-15c.) "imperiously."
I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. [Barry Goldwater (1909-1998), acceptance speech as Republican candidate for President, 1963]
late 12c., "God's unmerited favor, love, or help," from Old French grace "pardon, divine grace, mercy; favor, thanks; elegance, virtue" (12c., Modern French grâce), from Latin gratia "favor, esteem, regard; pleasing quality, good will, gratitude" (source of Italian grazia, Spanish gracia; in Church use translating Greek kharisma), from gratus "pleasing, agreeable" (from PIE *gwreto-, suffixed form of root *gwere- (2) "to favor").
Sense of "virtue" is early 14c., that of "beauty of form or movement, pleasing quality" is mid-14c. In classical sense, "one of the three sister goddesses (Latin Gratiæ, Greek Kharites), bestowers of beauty and charm," it is first recorded in English 1579 in Spenser. In music, "an embellishment not essential to the melody or harmony," 1650s. As the name of the short prayer that is said before or after a meal (early 13c.; until 16c. usually graces) it has a sense of "gratitude." As a title of honor, c. 1500.
From ancient times peculiar virtue was attributed to fire thus obtained, which was supposed to have great efficacy in overcoming the enchantment to which disease, such as that of cattle, was ascribed. The superstition survived in the Highlands of Scotland until a recent date. [Century Dictionary]
"expression of approbation or esteem because of some virtue, performance, or quality," early 14c., from praise (v.). Not common until 16c.; the earlier noun, and the common one through most of the Middle English period, was praising (c. 1200).
Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer;
[Pope, "Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot"]