vertu

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Italian virtù, †vertù ‎(moral worth, virtue (13th century); determination, perseverance, military valour (14th century); study of the liberal or fine arts; appreciation of, taste for, or expertise in the fine arts; objets d'art collectively (16th century)) or from French vertu ‎(virtue), ultimately from Latin virtūt-, virtus ‎(virtue).

Pronunciation[edit]

IPA(key): /vəːˈtuː/

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

vertu ‎(uncountable)

  1. (archaic) Especially in the writings of Machiavelli (1469–1527): excellence; moral virtue; honor; power.
    • 1976, Niccolò Machiavelli; James B. Atkinson, transl., The Prince [The Library of Liberal Arts; LLA-172], Indianapolis, Ind.: Bobbs-Merrill Company, ISBN 978-0-672-51542-2; reprinted as Indianapolis, Ind.: Hackett Publishing Company, 2008, ISBN 978-0-87220-920-6, pages 69–70:
      All these connotations, even the positive and moral ones, are within the range of significations Machiavelli wants us to hear in “virtù.” For him the word suggests a kind of flexibility that can initiate effective, efficient, and energetic action based on a courageous assertion of the will and an ability to execute the products of one's own calculations. Such calculations are a significant adjunct to his ideas about virtù: they outline what might be called an internal or mental virtù.
    • 1996, Harvey C[laflin] Mansfield[, Jr.], Machiavelli's Virtue, Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0-226-50368-4, pages 6–7:
      What is one to make of this? Machiavelli seems to deplore the need for a prince to be evil, and in the next breath to relish the fact. He alternately shocks his readers and provides relief from the very shocks he administers: Agathocles has virtù but cannot be said to have virtù. It is not enough to say that he uses the word in several “senses”; he uses it in two contradictory senses as to whether it includes or excludes evil deeds.
    • 2000, Jack Donnelly, Realism and International Relations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-59752-4, page 175:
      Honor and glory are for [Niccolò] Machiavelli closely tied to virtù, "virtue." The Latin virtus, from which the Tuscan/Italian term is derived, has its root in vir, man. Virtù refers to those things especially characteristic of man, the qualities that make us human. To oversimplify, Machiavelli uses virtù to refer both to “Christian” moral virtues, the conventional universalistic values embodied in the Golden Rule, and to a set of more particularistic classical virtues centered on honor. Together they comprise Machiavelli's account of the most noble and distinctive human excellences, achievements, and aspirations.
  2. (art) Knowledge of the fine arts.
  3. (art) Objets d'art collectively.
    • 1812, William Chinnery, A Catalogue of a Truly Valuable Assemblage of Articles of Virtu of William Chinnery [...][2], London: [s.n.], OCLC 558746555, title page:
      A Catalogue of a Truly Valuable Assemblage of Articles of Virtu of William Chinnery, Esq. Brought from Gillwell, Essex, consisting Principally of a most Choice Collection of Painted Greek Vases of the most Beautiful Shapes and Learned Designs, including the much Celebrated Vase Representing the Death of Patroclus, and a Variety of other Antique and other interesting Marbles. A few Antique Bustos, some fine Bronzes, Articles of Or-Moulu, and Curious Oriental and Seve Porcelain. Which (by Virtue of a Writ of Extent, under the Sheriff,) will be Sold by Auction by Mr. Christie, at his Great Room in Pall Mall, on Wednesday, June 3d, 1812, and Following Day, at One o'clock Precisely.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, or, The Whale, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 30847311; republished as Moby-Dick or The White Whale[3], Boston: The St. Botolph Society, 1922, OCLC 237074, page 423:
      Now, when with royal Tranquo I visited this wondrous whale, and saw the skull an altar, and the artificial smoke ascending from where the real jet had issued, I marvelled that the king should regard a chapel as an object of vertù.
    • 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin[4], London: John Cassell, OCLC 700886567, page 178:
      The more drawers and closets there were, the more hiding-holes could Charlotte make for the accommodation of old rags, hair-combs, old shoes, ribbons, cast-off artificial flowers, and other articles of vertù, wherein her soul delighted.

Translations[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French vertu, from Latin virtūs, virtūtem.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

vertu f ‎(plural vertus)

  1. virtue

Derived terms[edit]

External links[edit]


German[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

vertu

  1. Imperative singular of vertun.
  2. (colloquial) First-person singular present of vertun.

Middle English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Old French and Anglo-Norman vertu

Noun[edit]

vertu (plural vertus)

  1. virtue (goodness, moralness)
    • circa 1380, John Wycliffe, Peter 4:14, The Holy Bible:
      ye schulen be blessid; for that that is of the onour, and of the glorie, and of the vertu of God
      you shall be blessed, for that is of the honor, and of the glory, and of the virtue of God
    • Late 14th century, Geoffrey Chaucer, “The Knight's Tale”, The Canterbury Tales:
      Youre vertu is so greet in hevene above / That if yow list, I shal wel have my love.

Middle French[edit]

Noun[edit]

vertu f (plural vertus)

  1. virtue (goodness, moralness)

Old French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin virtūs, virtūtem.

Noun[edit]

vertu f ‎(oblique plural vertus, nominative singular vertu, nominative plural vertus)

  1. valour; honour; goodness; virtue

Synonyms[edit]

Descendants[edit]