Definition of moral in English:

moral

adjective

  • 1Concerned with the principles of right and wrong behaviour.

    ‘the moral dimensions of medical intervention’
    ‘a moral judgement’
    • ‘I have tremendous respect for the daring, moral courage, and intellectual honesty of this book.’
    • ‘I'm not going to make moral judgments about all this.’
    • ‘But I suspect moral argument is the wrong approach to issues of war and peace and politics generally, not least because so many millions of deaths are just deaths.’
    • ‘Throughout his life, he was an example of moral courage and determination and a source of inspiration to millions.’
    • ‘It is also clear that moral principles and political judgments are inextricably intertwined.’
    • ‘In the first place, it will not convince those who believe in a rational ethics, who believe that there is a scientific basis for moral judgments and that they are not pure whim.’
    • ‘Mandela spent 27 years in prison and his moral courage was respected worldwide.’
    • ‘Today's soldiers trust each other, they trust their leaders, they trust the Army, and they also understand the moral dimensions of war.’
    • ‘What's wrong with making moral choices when we shop, buying only those goods raised in a respectable, sustainable way?’
    • ‘Finally, you say that ‘on most issues, there is no clear right or wrong, particularly where moral issues are concerned’.’
    • ‘The cardinal virtues enable leaders to habitually incorporate moral principles in their behaviour.’
    • ‘Wrong not only for moral reasons, but wrong because it wasn't something I wanted to end up with for the rest of my life.’
    • ‘Ms. Colombo said opponents of implants were ‘making a moral judgment, not a medical one.’’
    • ‘Not only does he have a righteous motive, but he also has moral courage.’
    • ‘In this respect moral judgments are like judgments of beauty or intelligence.’
    • ‘We do not live in an ideal world, and to make moral judgments about the behaviour of others is demeaning.’
    • ‘But this tolerance has led to a state of belief where American college students are unwilling to make a moral judgment about their value systems and culture.’
    • ‘We can then make objective judgments about moral progress and decline, with respect to that good.’
    • ‘He claimed repeatedly that his function was not to make moral judgments but to record behaviour.’
    • ‘It takes just one piece of the jigsaw and turns it into a compelling, documentary-style drama that dispenses with moral judgments in an attempt to arrive at some uncomfortable truths.’
    virtuous, good, righteous, upright, upstanding, high-minded, right-minded, principled, proper, honourable, honest, just, noble, incorruptible, scrupulous, respectable, decent, irreproachable, truthful, law-abiding, clean-living, chaste, pure, blameless, sinless
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Concerned with or derived from the code of behaviour that is considered right or acceptable in a particular society.
      ‘they have a moral obligation to pay the money back’
      • ‘These movements demand strict conformity to sacred scriptures and to a moral code ostensibly based on these scriptures.’
      • ‘It is really up to the individual retailer to decide whether they are doing anything that breaches their legal or moral codes.’
      • ‘People see accessibility as a costly hassle rather than a moral duty.’
      • ‘The society safeguards the moral and social code necessary for them to live together in harmony.’
      • ‘The second tendency is for societies to erect moral codes, which often frown on behaviour encoded by our selfish genes.’
      • ‘So in reality many of our moral codes are based on internal convictions that lack pure and independent proof.’
      • ‘Read simply, the Bible serves as the moral code upon which our society is based.’
      • ‘A girl's behaviour was molded to fit a society governed by a strict moral code and rigid social customs.’
      • ‘Portugal's holidays, its moral and legal codes, health and education systems have been greatly impacted by its Catholic heritage.’
      • ‘Unless one believes that there is an absolute obligation to obey every law, moral duty and legal duty will sometimes come into conflict.’
      • ‘It has to be something of substance, some legal, moral or even social duty, but it has to have substance.’
      • ‘And that must be seen as an intensely moral, rather than legal, obligation.’
      • ‘We ask of government to live up to its moral and legal obligation to efficiently and effectively deliver basic social services.’
      • ‘Their moral code is based on the idea that right and wrong are constants and that those who disagree are by definition immoral.’
      • ‘The council said prosecuting people is a last resort but all dog owners must realise that it is their legal as well as their moral duty to dean up after their dog.’
      • ‘On the other hand, a duty is a moral obligation to do one specific thing over another without the freedom to decide.’
      • ‘Many of my generation were brought up with a moral code based on the ten commandments, which impressed a watermark in us so deep that it underpins all our lives.’
      • ‘Further, the arguments are based in moral rather than legal terms.’
      • ‘We agreed that they are wrong from the moral and political point of view and they should end.’
      • ‘Moreover, statements are qualifiedly privileged if made pursuant to a legal, social or moral duty.’
    2. 1.2attributive Examining the nature of ethics and the foundations of good and bad character and conduct.
      ‘moral philosophers’
      • ‘Smith was a moral philosopher and as such his role was ‘to do nothing, and observe everything’.’
      • ‘David was a moral philosopher and historian and a leading member of the Scottish Enlightenment.’
  • 2Holding or manifesting high principles for proper conduct.

    ‘he prides himself on being a highly moral and ethical person’
    ‘he is a caring, moral man’
    • ‘These debates are driven by contrasting moral visions of the proper authority of teachers and the proper docility of students.’
    • ‘And I think by what your values are you're going to instill in the students some sense of moral values.’
    • ‘His pristine moral character exemplifies the power of human resolve, perseverance, and faith.’
    • ‘Thus, the formation of moral character in nursing forms the foundation for practice.’
    • ‘The root cause of crime is a lack of moral character.’
    • ‘Ms Lay said her husband is an ‘honest, decent, moral human begin who would do absolutely nothing wrong.’’
    • ‘An election of a high standard should start with the moral character and conduct of the candidate.’
    • ‘So what we ask is a peaceful message to, you know, to let people have their right to have healthy bodies and to cultivate their good moral characters.’
    • ‘The youths' values reflect a sense of moral self which is communal and is connected to others.’
    • ‘This is no romantic and idealistic battle for higher principles, fought by a moral and ethical aristocratic elite according to chivalric rules.’
    • ‘Living an ethical, moral life should be one of the biggest priorities we have.’
    • ‘Probably, the sense of moral superiority and entrenched bureaucratic power is similar at both locations.’
    • ‘And I agree: it's about a moral character in an immoral world.’
    • ‘It's about getting ideas out to the readers, not about the moral character of the writer (or at least it should be about it).’
    • ‘We don't just leave our ethical and moral selves at the door when we go to work.’
    • ‘What is the proper role for the military in this new political and moral relationship?’
    • ‘The sense of moral superiority afforded by this point of view was perhaps in lieu of economic, educational, and social opportunities.’
    virtuous, good, righteous, upright, upstanding, high-minded, right-minded, principled, proper, honourable, honest, just, noble, incorruptible, scrupulous, respectable, decent, irreproachable, truthful, law-abiding, clean-living, chaste, pure, blameless, sinless
    View synonyms

noun

  • 1A lesson that can be derived from a story or experience.

    ‘the moral of this story was that one must see the beauty in what one has’
    • ‘The moral of this story is: the camera never lies so don't leave home without one.’
    • ‘So the moral of the story is, don't form an opinion until you've tried it for yourself.’
    • ‘So here's the moral of this story, and it's intended for the hotel industry: Get back to basics already.’
    • ‘Then I'll tell you: The moral of this story is to know what you fight for.’
    • ‘The moral of this story is to get it right the first time.’
    • ‘Perhaps the moral of this story is that you can't win.’
    • ‘The moral of this story is never think that everything will be easy, and that you have to make mistakes and work for every crumb that comes your way.’
    • ‘I guess the moral of this story is to question, always question.’
    • ‘The moral of this story is corny but true: it is better to have loved deeply and have lost than not to have loved at all.’
    • ‘The moral of this story is always stick to what you do best.’
    • ‘I can't find a moral in the story, or a worth-while lesson to be learned of it.’
    • ‘The moral of this story: Do not assume that I'm friendly and approachable.’
    • ‘And the moral of this story is, people who don't learn to take responsibility for their own actions often end up in prison.’
    • ‘So I guess the moral of this story is that you should never take things for granted.’
    • ‘As always the moral of this story is to use you credit card for any sizeable purchases as any problem with the goods or retailer become the card company's problem rather than yours.’
    • ‘You should accept who you are, that is the moral of this tale.’
    • ‘The moral of this story is not that honesty works.’
    • ‘The moral of this story for everyone involved is don't bite the hand that feeds you.’
    lesson, message, meaning, significance, signification, import, point, precept, teaching
    View synonyms
  • 2moralsStandards of behaviour; principles of right and wrong.

    ‘the corruption of public morals’
    ‘they believe addicts have no morals and cannot be trusted’
    • ‘Two common law offences need consideration, namely, conspiracy to corrupt public morals, and outraging public decency.’
    • ‘I suppose my image has changed but I'd like to think I'm still the same Vivienne and that my principles and morals are the same.’
    • ‘Raids were also conducted on premises to look for any behavior which might affront public morals.’
    • ‘I am satisfied that their ability to prosecute by way of laying information derives from it being a matter of public policy and one which concerns the public morals.’
    • ‘My mum's problem is that her sense of right and wrong - her morals - is more important to her than her own safety.’
    • ‘Everyone has their morals regarding public nudity.’
    • ‘They needed to learn integrity, character, morals, and faith by example.’
    • ‘Her take on opposing views seems a bit wrong, and her concept of morals seems largely centered around material things.’
    • ‘The final decades of the seventeenth century had seen a distinct decline in public manners and morals.’
    • ‘We create such morals based on the collective opinion that murder is wrong.’
    • ‘Relevant dimensions of difference include morals, values, standards, beliefs, and attitudes.’
    • ‘What had really aggravated me was that she had made assumptions about my morals and integrity and was judging me accordingly knowing very little about my situation.’
    • ‘There is such a thing as a modicum of decency and morals of public behaviour.’
    • ‘My mother and father did a great job in instilling the morals and principles in us from the very beginning.’
    • ‘A lot of people teach morals and I believe that everybody has their own standard of morals.’
    • ‘I guess it all depends on your own standards or morals really.’
    • ‘Generally, they do not care about morals and principles, as if such things had nothing to do with them.’
    • ‘I do have morals and standards but about things which really matter, such as the growing number of homeless people in our city centre or the rising number of drug related crimes.’
    • ‘It totally overlooks right and wrong, morals, discipline, and manners.’
    • ‘However, it is not too much to ask them to themselves act with strong morals and integrity, or else they may be prone to bribery or other forms of corruption.’
    moral code, code of ethics, moral standards, moral values, principles, principles of right and wrong, rules of conduct, principles of behaviour, standards of behaviour, standards, morality, sense of morality, scruples, ideals
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin moralis, from mos, mor- ‘custom’, (plural) mores ‘morals’. As a noun the word was first used to translate Latin Moralia, the title of St Gregory the Great's moral exposition of the Book of Job, and was subsequently applied to the works of various classical writers.

Pronunciation

moral

/ˈmɒr(ə)l/