For example, many religious traditions consider austerity and renunciation from material pleasures a virtue. Randian libertarianism characterizes selfishness as a virtue.

To consider as divine is to deify, to declare as innocent is to exonerate, to hold as a virtue is to —?

  • 3
    Maybe exalt? – JLG Jul 6 '13 at 22:17
  • I think to exalt something you have to loudly proclaim your praise, while I'm looking for something that also includes quietly believing that something is good without saying anything. (Perhaps exonerate was a misleading example in that respect.) – user1635 Jul 6 '13 at 22:28
  • 2
    Ok. I'm not sure I agree with that. I think you can exalt something and not extol it. – JLG Jul 6 '13 at 22:47
  • Ennoble, perhaps? – Kaiser Octavius Jul 7 '13 at 1:37

The simplest solution would be to say

Randian libertarianism praises selfishness.

I am thinking of the following usage:

v. To express warm approbation of, commendation for, or admiration for.
v. To extol or exalt; worship.

However, I will have to agree with @JLT that extol is probably the most appropriate word here. It is not very common and might be considered pompous in other settings but is particularly well fitted to discussion of religion.

Randian libertarianism extols selfishness.

  • +1 for mention of extol and exalt, which are better suited. – Jon Purdy Jul 7 '13 at 0:28

Depending on how importunate, or vehement one is, to hold a virtue in high regard importunately or vehemently is to TOUT.

Randian libertarianism touts selfishness as a virtue.


A form of Christian asceticism touts mortification as a virtue.

  • Tout carries a slight negative connotation though doesn't it? I would not use it for someone espousing an opinion that I share. – terdon Jul 7 '13 at 13:34
  • Yes, I think you are correct. "Tout" does carry some negative freight. – rhetorician Jul 7 '13 at 23:28

One such word would be the following:

To hold a trait as a virtue is to honor it.

a : to regard or treat (someone) with admiration and respect : to regard or treat with honor

b : to give special recognition to : to confer honor on


I believe three words which come very close and have not yet been mentioned are esteem, venerate, and revere.

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