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1. Having or showing virtue, especially moral excellence: led a virtuous life. See Synonyms at moral.
2. Archaic Chaste: a virtuous woman.

vir′tu·ous·ly adv.
vir′tu·ous·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.



like Caesar’s wife Of absolutely impeccable conduct; totally beyond reproach; without even the implication of impropriety. The phrase derives from an episode in the life of Julius Caesar as recounted in Plutarch’s Lives. The Roman nobleman Publius Clodius was on public trial for having had an affair with Pompeia, wife of Caesar. The latter testified that he knew nothing to substantiate the charges, and Publius Clodius was consequently acquitted. Caesar nevertheless divorced his wife Pompeia as a result of the scandal. When asked why he had done so when he had maintained her innocence, Caesar is reputed to have said, “I thought my wife ought not even to be under suspicion.” The more often heard version is the phrase Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion.

odor of sanctity The appearance of holiness or saintliness; an air of respectability; a virtuous, dignified exterior. This expression grew out of a belief popular in the Middle Ages that the dead bodies of saintly persons exuded a sweet smell. The pleasant odor was interpreted as a sign of the dead person’s sanctity or holiness.

There was also a sensation of aromatic odour, as of a dead body embalmed, for when the celestial angels are present, what is cadaverous then excites a sensation as of what is aromatic. (Cookworthy, tr., Swedenborg’s Heaven and Hell, 1756)

Today the phrase is usually used ironically to imply a disparity between appearance—such as that of an extravagant funeral—and a contrasting reality, such as the deceased’s private life. Here sanctity is closer to sanctimoniousness.

sprout wings See CHARITABLENESS.

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.virtuousness - the quality of doing what is right and avoiding what is wrongvirtuousness - the quality of doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong
good, goodness - moral excellence or admirableness; "there is much good to be found in people"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. The quality or state of being morally sound:
2. The condition of being chaste:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
فضيلَه، طَهارَه


(ˈvəːtʃuː) noun
1. a good moral quality. Honesty is a virtue.
2. a good quality. The house is small, but it has the virtue of being easy to clean.
3. goodness of character etc. She is a person of great virtue.
ˈvirtuous adjective
morally good. She is a virtuous young woman.
ˈvirtuously adverb
ˈvirtuousness noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in periodicals archive ?
He was so sincere in his submission and obeyed God in such a way that his trust in God was absolute and his virtuousness indisputable.
The belief in the collective good must trump individual desire, and it has to be bolstered by a society that generates personal integrity, from the earliest age, so that the citizen does what is right when no one is looking rather than hiding their true self through apparent virtuousness or engaging charm.
Love is unlimited virtuousness beyond someone's thinking about 'self'; oppositely: The Fear is bounded in the thoughts of hell and heaven.
Thinking always about virtuousness, he proposes, is as tedious as perpetual peace.
The amplifying and buffering effects of virtuousness in downsized organizations.Journal of Business Ethics, 64(3), 249-269.
This, however, has little to do with the inherent virtuousness of waking up early but the fact that our systems are designed to favour early risers.
The great Irish playwright and London socialite drifted during his lifetime between exertive spiritual poles: his father's Protestantism and his homeland's Catholicism, British manners and Greek culture, the artistic virtuousness of John Ruskin and the aesthetic mischief of Walter Pater.
"To avoid the feelings of moral virtuousness that may stem from resisting a personal gain from a high-stakes decision turning into less cooperative behaviour subsequently, organisations may wish to consider assigning responsibility for multiple high-stakes decisions to different decision-makers or reviewing the timing between such decisions."
This installment of Linking Theory + Practice focuses on positive change and the effects of organizational virtuousness on business performance.
Such observation by a woman neither brings a charge against men for their shortcomings nor does it attempt to wish away the fact that the virtuousness of the woman is required as she conducts the affairs of her relationship with the men.
The rigorous investigation of virtuousness in organizations represents an important opportunity in that arena."