Value vs. Virtue — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on September 20, 2023
Value refers to the importance or worth of something, while Virtue is a moral excellence or righteousness.
Difference Between Value and Virtue
Table of Contents
Value and Virtue are terms that hold significant importance in ethics and philosophy. While both refer to principles or standards, their underlying meanings and applications are distinct.
When we discuss Value, we refer to the worth or significance of an item, principle, or concept. It can be tangible, like the value of a car, or intangible, like the value of honesty. Conversely, Virtue is a specific moral quality or disposition considered to be good or commendable.
A society or an individual might place a certain Value on a trait, idea, or object. For instance, a society might value education or freedom. However, Virtue speaks to the moral and ethical qualities that an individual possesses, like patience or kindness.
In many cases, Value can be quantifiable. We can determine the value of a house, a painting, or a business. On the other hand, Virtue is more about the qualitative aspect, defining the inherent goodness or righteousness of an action or character trait.
Over time, what society Values can change based on cultural, economic, or technological shifts. Yet, Virtues, being foundational moral principles, tend to remain more constant across time and cultures.
Worth or significance of an item or principle.
A moral quality considered to be good.
Often can be quantified (e.g., monetary value).
Qualitative; not typically quantified.
Can be applied to objects, ideas, or traits.
Specifically relates to moral and ethical qualities.
Can change based on societal or individual perspectives.
More constant across time and cultures.
Value of a car, value of freedom.
Virtue of patience, virtue of honesty.
Compare with Definitions
Monetary Measure: The financial worth of something.
The value of the house has increased over the years.
Moral Excellence: A commendable quality or trait.
Honesty is a virtue.
Belief: A principle or standard one considers important.
Family is a core value for many individuals.
Goodness: The quality of doing what is right.
Charity is a virtue that benefits both giver and receiver.
Estimation: An assessment or appraisal of worth.
The value of the artwork was estimated at $10,000.
Ethical Principle: A standard of righteousness or morality.
Showing respect to elders is a virtue in many cultures.
An amount, as of goods, services, or money, considered to be a fair and suitable equivalent for something else; a fair price or return.
Virtue (Latin: virtus) is a moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being.
Monetary or material worth
The fluctuating value of gold and silver.
Moral excellence and righteousness; goodness.
Worth in usefulness or importance to the possessor; utility or merit
The value of an education.
An example or kind of moral excellence
The virtue of patience.
Often values A principle or standard, as of behavior, that is considered important or desirable
"The speech was a summons back to the patrician values of restraint and responsibility" (Jonathan Alter).
(Archaic) Chastity, especially in a woman.
Precise meaning or import, as of a word.
A particularly efficacious, good, or beneficial quality; advantage
A plan with the virtue of being practical.
(Mathematics) A quantity or number expressed by an algebraic term.
Effective force or power
Believed in the virtue of prayer.
(Music) The relative duration of a tone or rest.
Virtues(Christianity) The fifth of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology.
The relative darkness or lightness of a color. See Table at color.
(Obsolete) Manly courage; valor.
(Linguistics) The sound quality of a letter or diphthong.
(uncountable) Accordance with moral principles; conformity of behaviour or thought with the strictures of morality; good moral conduct.
Without virtue, there is no freedom.
One of a series of specified values
Issued a stamp of new value.
A particular manifestation of moral excellence in a person; an admirable quality.
To determine or estimate the worth or value of; appraise.
Specifically, each of several qualities held to be particularly important, including the four cardinal virtues, the three theological virtues, or the seven virtues opposed to the seven deadly sins.
To regard highly; esteem
I value your advice.
An inherently advantageous or excellent quality of something or someone; a favourable point, an advantage.
To rate according to relative estimate of worth or desirability; evaluate
Valued health above money.
A creature embodying divine power, specifically one of the orders of heavenly beings, traditionally ranked above angels and below archangels.
To assign a value to (a unit of currency, for example).
(uncountable) Specifically, moral conduct in sexual behaviour, especially of women; chastity.
Of or relating to the practice of investing in individual securities that, according to some fundamental measure, such as book value, appear to be relatively less expensive than comparable securities.
(obsolete) The inherent power of a god, or other supernatural being.
Relating to or consisting of principles or standards
A value system.
The inherent power or efficacy of something now only in phrases.
The quality (positive or negative) that renders something desirable or valuable.
The Shakespearean Shylock is of dubious value in the modern world.
Manly strength or courage; bravery; daring; spirit; valor.
Built too strongFor force or virtue ever to expugn.
(uncountable) The degree of importance given to something.
The value of my children's happiness is second only to that of my wife.
Active quality or power; capacity or power adequate to the production of a given effect; energy; strength; potency; efficacy; as, the virtue of a medicine.
Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about.
A man was driven to depend for his security against misunderstanding, upon the pure virtue of his syntax.
The virtue of his midnight agony.
That which is valued or highly esteemed, such as one's morals, morality, or belief system.
He does not share his parents' values.
Energy or influence operating without contact of the material or sensible substance.
She moves the body which she doth possess,Yet no part toucheth, but by virtue's touch.
The amount (of money or goods or services) that is considered to be a fair equivalent for something else.
Excellence; value; merit; meritoriousness; worth.
I made virtue of necessity.
In the Greek poets, . . . the economy of poems is better observed than in Terence, who thought the sole grace and virtue of their fable the sticking in of sentences.
(music) The relative duration of a musical note.
The value of a crotchet is twice that of a quaver.
Specifically, moral excellence; integrity of character; purity of soul; performance of duty.
Virtue only makes our bliss below.
If there's Power above us,And that there is all nature cries aloudThrough all her works, he must delight in virtue.
(arts) The relative darkness or lightness of a color in (a specific area of) a painting etc.
A particular moral excellence; as, the virtue of temperance, of charity, etc.
Any definite numerical quantity or other mathematical object, determined by being measured, computed, or otherwise defined.
The exact value of pi cannot be represented in decimal notation.
Specifically: Chastity; purity; especially, the chastity of women; virginity.
H. I believe the girl has virtue.M. And if she has, I should be the last man in the world to attempt to corrupt it.
Precise meaning; import.
The value of a word; the value of a legal instrument
One of the orders of the celestial hierarchy.
Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers.
(in the plural) The valuable ingredients to be obtained by treating a mass or compound; specifically, the precious metals contained in rock, gravel, etc.
The vein carries good values.
The values on the hanging walls
The quality of doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong
(obsolete) Esteem; regard.
Any admirable quality or attribute;
Work of great merit
(obsolete) Valour; also spelled valew.
Morality with respect to sexual relations
To estimate the value of; judge the worth of something.
I will have the family jewels valued by a professional.
A particular moral excellence
To fix or determine the value of; assign a value to, as of jewelry or art work.
Character Strength: An inherent quality that promotes ethical actions.
Persistence is a virtue that often leads to success.
To regard highly; think much of; place importance upon.
Gold was valued highly among the Romans.
Chastity: Often used historically to describe purity or modesty.
She was praised for her virtue.
To hold dear.
I value these old photographs.
The property or aggregate properties of a thing by which it is rendered useful or desirable, or the degree of such property or sum of properties; worth; excellence; utility; importance.
Ye are all physicians of no value.
Ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Cæsar is well acquainted with your virtue,And therefore sets this value on your life.
Before events shall have decided on the value of the measures.
Worth estimated by any standard of purchasing power, especially by the market price, or the amount of money agreed upon as an equivalent to the utility and cost of anything.
An article may be possessed of the highest degree of utility, or power to minister to our wants and enjoyments, and may be universally made use of, without possessing exchangeable value.
Value is the power to command commodities generally.
Value is the generic term which expresses power in exchange.
His design was not to pay him the value of his pictures, because they were above any price.
Precise signification; import; as, the value of a word; the value of a legal instrument
My relation to the person was so near, and my value for him so great
The relative length or duration of a tone or note, answering to quantity in prosody; thus, a quarter note [ ] has the value of two eighth notes [ ].
In an artistical composition, the character of any one part in its relation to other parts and to the whole; - often used in the plural; as, the values are well given, or well maintained.
That property of a color by which it is distinguished as bright or dark; luminosity.
Any particular quantitative determination; as, a function's value for some special value of its argument.
The valuable ingredients to be obtained by treatment from any mass or compound; specif., the precious metals contained in rock, gravel, or the like; as, the vein carries good values; the values on the hanging walls.
To estimate the value, or worth, of; to rate at a certain price; to appraise; to reckon with respect to number, power, importance, etc.
The mind doth value every moment.
The queen is valued thirty thousand strong.
The king must take it ill,That he's so slightly valued in his messenger.
Neither of them valued their promises according to rules of honor or integrity.
To rate highly; to have in high esteem; to hold in respect and estimation; to appreciate; to prize; as, to value one for his works or his virtues.
Which of the dukes he values most.
To raise to estimation; to cause to have value, either real or apparent; to enhance in value.
Some value themselves to their country by jealousies of the crown.
To be worth; to be equal to in value.
The peace between the French and us not valuesThe cost that did conclude it.
A numerical quantity measured or assigned or computed;
The value assigned was 16 milliseconds
The quality (positive or negative) that renders something desirable or valuable;
The Shakespearean Shylock is of dubious value in the modern world
The amount (of money or goods or services) that is considered to be a fair equivalent for something else;
He tried to estimate the value of the produce at normal prices
Relative darkness or lightness of a color;
I establish the colors and principal values by organizing the painting into three values--dark, medium...and light
(music) the relative duration of a musical note
An ideal accepted by some individual or group;
He has old-fashioned values
Fix or determine the value of; assign a value to;
Value the jewelry and art work in the estate
I prize these old photographs
Regard highly; think much of;
I respect his judgement
We prize his creativity
Place a value on; judge the worth of something;
I will have the family jewels appraised by a professional
Estimate the value of;
How would you rate his chances to become President?
Gold was rated highly among the Romans
Worth: The importance or significance given to something.
The value of education cannot be understated.
Utility: The usefulness or applicability of something.
The nutritional value of vegetables is high.
Can a virtue be a value?
Yes, for instance, a society might value the virtue of honesty.
Are virtues universal across cultures?
Many virtues, like kindness, are appreciated universally, but their definitions might vary by culture.
Are values and virtues the same?
No, while values refer to the worth or importance, virtues refer to moral excellence or righteousness.
Can values change over time?
Yes, societal and individual values can evolve based on various factors.
Can businesses have virtues?
Yes, businesses can practice virtues like fairness and integrity.
How are personal values determined?
Personal values are influenced by upbringing, experiences, culture, and personal reflections.
Is courage a value or a virtue?
Courage is typically considered a virtue, as it's a moral quality.
Who decides the value of something?
Value can be determined by societal consensus, market dynamics, or individual preference.
Which is more important, value or virtue?
Both are important in different contexts. Values define importance, while virtues define moral quality.
How can one develop virtues?
Virtues can be developed through self-reflection, practice, and guidance.
Is money the only way to measure value?
No, value can be both tangible (monetary) and intangible (like moral principles).
Can a person's values conflict with their virtues?
Yes, sometimes personal values might be at odds with universally accepted virtues.
Is beauty a value or a virtue?
Beauty can be a value, as in what one deems important or significant. It's not typically categorized as a virtue.
Can an object have virtue?
No, virtue is typically ascribed to actions or character, not inanimate objects.
Are all virtues universally good?
While many virtues are universally appreciated, interpretations and applications can vary by culture.
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Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.