Italian term, derived from the Latin virtus and frequently used in Renaissance discussions of human character. The term, like its Latin source, does not mean "virtue" in the conventional modern sense, though it does imply "goodness" in contrast to "vice." Above all, it denotes the qualities that made a man (the source-word of vir-tus is vir, the classical Latin word for a high-status man) admirable, such as intelligence, competence, and energy. Niccolô Machiavelli in particular employs it to describe the qualities needed in a success-ful ruler, but it was a common word, used by many authors and al-ways having a complimentary connotation. When used with refer-ence to things, it implies power or efficacy, such as the virtù of a medicine or a weapon.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.


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  • virtù — (ant. virtude o virtute, e anche vertù, vertude o vertute) s.f. [lat. virtus ūtis forza, coraggio , der. di vir uomo ]. 1. a. [disposizione naturale a fuggire il male e fare il bene, perseguito come fine a sé stesso: essere modello di v. ]… …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • Virtu — Vir*tu (?; 277), n. [It. virt[ u] virtue, excellence, from L. virtus. See {Virtue}.] A love of the fine arts; a taste for curiosities. J. Spence. [1913 Webster] {An article of virtu}, or {a piece of virtu}, an object of art or antiquity; a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • virtū — virtū̃ interj. kartojant nusakomas greitas ėjimas krypuojant: Broliai žirgt žirgt tokie dideliai, i aš iš paskos virtū̃ virtū̃ Mžš …   Dictionary of the Lithuanian Language

  • Virtù — is a concept most notably theorized by Niccolò Machiavelli centered on the martial spirit of a population or leader, but also encompasses a broader collection of traits necessary for maintenance of the state and the achievement of great things.… …   Wikipedia

  • virtu — (n.) excellence in an object of art, passion for works of art, 1722, from It. virtu excellence, from L. virtutem (nom. virtus) virtue (see VIRTUE (Cf. virtue)). The same word as virtue, borrowed during a period when everything Italian was in… …   Etymology dictionary

  • virtu — [vər to͞o′, vʉr′to͞o΄] n. [It virtù, excellence, virtue < L virtus, strength, VIRTUE] 1. a love of, or taste for, artistic objects, esp. curios, antiques, etc. 2. such objects, collectively 3. the quality of being artistic, beautiful, rare, or …   English World dictionary

  • Virtu —         (итал.) доблесть, добродетель. У итал. гуманистов гармо нич. единство телесной и духовной энергии. Философский энциклопедический словарь. М.: Советская энциклопедия. Гл. редакция: Л. Ф. Ильичёв, П. Н. Федосеев, С. М. Ковалёв, В. Г. Панов …   Философская энциклопедия

  • virtù — vir·tù s.f.inv. AU 1. disposizione morale che induce l uomo a perseguire e compiere costantemente il bene prescindendo da eventuali ricompense o castighi: praticare, esercitare la virtù, scegliere la via della virtù, essere esempio di virtù |… …   Dizionario italiano

  • virtù — {{hw}}{{virtù}}{{/hw}}s. f. 1 Disposizione morale a perseguire il bene e a praticarlo costantemente: virtù civile | Virtù naturale, virtù morale, nella teologia cattolica, costante disposizione dell anima a fare il bene | Virtù cardinali,… …   Enciclopedia di italiano

  • virtù — s. f. 1. bontà, perfezione CONTR. vizio, peccato 2. verecondia, castità, pudore, modestia, pudicizia, santità CONTR. inverecondia, impudicizia, immoralità, impurità, depravazione, dissolutezza, spudoratezza 3. (est.) qualità, capacità, proprietà …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • virtu — [və: t(j)u:] (also vertu) noun 1》 knowledge of or expertise in the fine arts. 2》 curios or objets d art collectively. Phrases article (or object) of virtu an article that is interesting because of its antiquity, quality, etc. Origin C18: from… …   English new terms dictionary

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