One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
By virtue of one's office or position; because of the authority, rights, or privileges one has as the holder of a particular office.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in John Manwood (d. 1610), legal writer. From post-classical Latin virtute officii from classical Latin virtūte, ablative of virtus + officiī, genitive of officium.
virtute officii/vəːˌtjuːti əˈfɪʃɪiː/
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