make a virtue of necessity


make a virtue of necessity


  • extract something beneficial from an unwelcome obligation
  • to shift the important deeds or act into a positive or useful experience
  • to use a difficult situation in the best possible way
  • to give the best possible effort one can under an uneasy situation


  1. It’s was a long journey from Delhi to Australia so I thought I would make a virtue of necessity and write some articles that had to be submitted to the magazines.
  2. When his brother was ill, only he was there in the town to take care hs brother’s care, so he made a virtue of necessity and engaged with his brother to share their time together.
  3. When the project arrived impromptu, my boss assigned me to the project as the other managers were on leave. Though I had to leave for my vacation too but I made a virtue of necessity and learn new technology needed for the project which otherwise I had been procrastinating.

This thought is found in Latin in the of St Jerome’s writings: facis de necessitate virtutem ‘you make a virtue of necessity’. It followed into Old French (faire de nécessiste vertu) and was found first in English in Chaucer’s The Knight’s Tale: “Then is it wisdom, as it thinketh me, to make virtue of necessity”.

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