vertu

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: vertù

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed 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/

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, 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, 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 Middle French vertu, from Old French vertu, from Latin virtūs, virtūtem.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /vɛʁ.ty/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

vertu f (plural vertus)

  1. virtue
    • 2004 October 1, “Huit-queues-et-demie [Eight-and-a-Half-Tails]”, in Guerriers de Kamigawa [Warriors of Kamigawa], Wizards of the Coast:
      « La vertu est une lumière intérieure qui peut toujours sauver une âme. »
      “Virtue is an inner light that can save a soul.”

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]


German[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

vertu

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

Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Old French and Anglo-Norman vertu, from Latin virtūtem, accusative of virtūs.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈvɛrtiu̯/, /ˈvirtiu̯/

Noun[edit]

vertu (plural vertues)

  1. An ability, specialty, or feature:
    1. Medical or pharmaceutical ability (either generally or specifically)
    2. Such an ability that one possesses, has acquired or has learnt.
    3. A feature or quality which enables or allows a power or effect.
    4. A mechanism or ability that causes a bodily function or process to work.
  2. Power, competence, ability; ability to effect behaviour or action:
    • a. 1382, John Wycliffe, “Apocalyps 1:16”, in Wycliffe's Bible:
      And he hadde in his riȝt hoond seuene sterris, and a swerd scharp on euer ethir side wente out of his mouth; and his face as the sunne schyneth in his virtu.
      And he had seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp sword was poking out both sides of his mouth, and his face shined like the sun with its power.
    1. Divine power or capability; power effected from the heavens:
      • a. 1400, Geoffrey Chaucer, “The Knight's Tale”, in The Canterbury Tales, line 2007-2008:
        Youre vertu is so greet in hevene above / That if yow list, I shal wel have my love []
        Your power is so great in the heavens above / That if you want, I'm going to have my love []
      1. (theology) The grace of God; divine aid or beneficence.
      2. The bestowing or granting of divine aid or beneficence.
      3. Divine ability transferred or placed in an object or thing.
      4. A specific instance or example of godly might or ability.
      5. (rare) A title or appellation granted or bestowed upon a divinity.
    2. The means or method that something is done with or through.
    3. The force of law (often as a means); legislative power or prerogative.
    4. The power to shield from harm, especially when of an occult nature.
      • a. 1382, John Wycliffe, “1 Petre 4:14”, in Wycliffe's Bible:
        If ȝe ben dispisid for the name of Crist, ȝe schulen be blessid; for that that is of the onour, and of the glorie, and of the vertu of God, and the spirit that is his, schal reste on ȝou.
        If you are despised due to Christ's name, you will be blessed, because of the honor, the glory, and the potency of God, and his Spirit, which will rest on you.
    5. Astrological or cosmic influence; power believed to come from the stars.
    6. The property of being regarded as valuable or desirable; desirability.
    7. (rare) Overlordship or domination; political control or jurisdiction.
    8. (rare) The state of being meaningful; importance or notability.
    9. (rare) The property of causing power, effects or results.
  3. Virtue (moral goodness; adherence to ethics):
    1. A particular attribute believed to be morally beneficial or good.
      • c. 1460, Turpines story: a Middle English translation of the Pseudo-Turpin chronicle[5], published 2004, →ISBN, Capitulum viii, page 13:
        [] we sholde dyȝe for vicis / and liffe with vertuus, []
        [] we should die for vices / and live with virtues, []
    2. The display of virtue or the example set by such a display.
    3. A moral directive or instruction or the body of them; morals.
    4. One's ability to act virtuously; moral fibre or capability.
  4. One of several ranks of angels, being above "powers" and below "dominions".
  5. A military troop or band; a group of combatants.
  6. Willpower or mental fibre; one's ability to fulfill one's will.
  7. Glory, honourableness, or knightliness; that expected by chivalry.
  8. Sapience, wisdom, higher functioning or that which causes it.
  9. Raw physical strength, exertion, or endurance.
  10. The constitution, health, or animacy of a living thing.

Related terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • English: virtue (obsolete vertue)
  • Scots: virtue

References[edit]


Middle French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French vertu.

Noun[edit]

vertu f (plural vertus)

  1. virtue (goodness, moralness)

Descendants[edit]


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]