- The definition of moral is something that relates to the rules of right and wrong.
An example of moral is governing principles of a religious group.
- Moral is defined as a principle that governs right and wrong or the lesson of a fable.
- An example of moral is the commandment "Thou shalt not kill."
- An example of moral is "Slow and steady wins the race" from "The Tortoise and the Hare."
- relating to, dealing with, or capable of making the distinction between right and wrong in conduct
- relating to, serving to teach, or in accordance with the principles of right and wrong
- good or right in conduct or character; sometimes, specif., virtuous in sexual conduct
- designating support, etc. that involves approval and sympathy without action
- being virtually such because of its effect on thoughts, attitudes, etc., or because of its general results: a moral victory
- based on strong probability: a moral certainty
- based on the principle of right conduct rather than legality: a moral obligation
- Law based on general observation of people, on analogy, etc. rather than on what is demonstrable: moral evidence
Origin of moralMiddle English from Classical Latin moralis, of manners or customs from mos (gen. moris), plural mores, manners, morals (see mood): used by Cicero as translated, translation of Classical Greek ?thikos
- a moral implication or moral lesson taught by a fable, event, etc.
- a statement of this lesson, typically the concluding statement of a fable or story
- [pl.] principles, standards, or habits with respect to right or wrong in conduct; ethics; sometimes, specif., standards of sexual behavior
- Of or concerned with the judgment of right or wrong of human action and character: moral scrutiny; a moral quandary.
- Teaching or exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behavior: a moral lesson.
- Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior; virtuous: a moral life.
- Arising from conscience or the sense of right and wrong: a moral obligation.
- Having psychological rather than physical or tangible effects: a moral victory; moral support.
- Based on strong likelihood or firm conviction, rather than on the actual evidence: a moral certainty.
- The lesson or principle contained in or taught by a fable, a story, or an event.
- A concisely expressed precept or general truth; a maxim: likes to follow the moral “To each, his own.”
- morals Rules or habits of conduct, especially of sexual conduct, with reference to standards of right and wrong: a person of loose morals; a decline in the public morals.
Origin of moralMiddle English from Old French from Latin mōrālis from mōs mōr- custom ; see mē-1 in Indo-European roots.
moral ethical virtuous righteous
These adjectives mean in accord with right or good conduct. Moral applies to personal character and behavior, especially sexual conduct: “Our moral sense dictates a clearcut preference for these societies which share with us an abiding respect for individual human rights” (Jimmy Carter). Ethical stresses idealistic standards of right and wrong: “Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants” (Omar N. Bradley). Virtuous implies moral excellence and loftiness of character: “The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous” (Frederick Douglass). Righteous emphasizes moral uprightness; when it is applied to actions, reactions, or impulses, it often implies justifiable outrage: “He was . . . stirred by righteous wrath” (John Galsworthy).
(comparative more moral, superlative most moral)
- Of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behaviour, especially for teaching right behaviour.
- moral judgments; a moral poem
- Conforming to a standard of right behaviour; sanctioned by or operative on one's conscience or ethical judgment.
- a moral obligation
- Capable of right and wrong action.
- a moral agent
- Probable but not proved.
- a moral certainty
- Positively affecting the mind, confidence, or will.
- a moral victory; moral support