morality[mō ral′i tē, mô-, mə-]
- Morality is the standard of society used to decide what is right or wrong behavior.
An example of morality is the belief by someone that it is wrong to take what doesn't belong to them, even if no one would know.
- moral quality or character; rightness or wrongness, as of an action
- the character of being in accord with the principles or standards of right conduct; right conduct; sometimes, specif., virtue in sexual conduct
- principles of right and wrong in conduct; ethics
- a particular system of such principles
- moral instruction or a moral lesson
- a narrative with a moral lesson
- morality play
Origin of moralityMiddle English moralite ; from Old French ; from Late Latin moralitas ; from Classical Latin moralis
- The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct: questioned the morality of my actions.
- A system or collection of ideas of right and wrong conduct: religious morality; Christian morality.
- Virtuous conduct: commended his morality.
- A rule or lesson in moral conduct: sermons noted for their moralities.
(countable and uncountable, plural moralities)
- (uncountable) Recognition of the distinction between good and evil or between right and wrong; respect for and obedience to the rules of right conduct; the mental disposition or characteristic of behaving in a manner intended to produce morally good results.
- (countable) A set of social rules, customs, traditions, beliefs, or practices which specify proper, acceptable forms of conduct.
- (countable) A set of personal guiding principles for conduct or a general notion of how to behave, whether respectable or not.
- (countable, archaic) A lesson or pronouncement which contains advice about proper behavior.
- (uncountable, rare) Moral philosophy, the branch of philosophy which studies the grounds and nature of rightness, wrongness, good, and evil.
- (countable, rare) A particular theory concerning the grounds and nature of rightness, wrongness, good, and evil.
- Although the terms morality and ethics may sometimes be used interchangeably, philosophical ethicists often distinguish them, using morality and its related terms to refer to actual, real-world beliefs and practices concerning proper conduct, and using ethics to refer to theories and conceptual studies relating to good and evil and right and wrong. In this vein, the American philosopher Brand Blanshard wrote concerning his friend, the eminent British ethicist G. E. Moore: "We often discussed ethics, but seldom morals. . . . He was a master in ethical theory, but did not conceive himself as specially qualified to pass opinions on politics or social issues."