Definition of moral in English:



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

    ‘the moral dimensions of medical intervention’
    ‘a moral judgement’
    • ‘Ms. Colombo said opponents of implants were ‘making a moral judgment, not a medical one.’’
    • ‘We can then make objective judgments about moral progress and decline, with respect to that good.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I have tremendous respect for the daring, moral courage, and intellectual honesty of this book.’
    • ‘He claimed repeatedly that his function was not to make moral judgments but to record behaviour.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Not only does he have a righteous motive, but he also has moral courage.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What's wrong with making moral choices when we shop, buying only those goods raised in a respectable, sustainable way?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We do not live in an ideal world, and to make moral judgments about the behaviour of others is demeaning.’
    • ‘The cardinal virtues enable leaders to habitually incorporate moral principles in their behaviour.’
    • ‘I'm not going to make moral judgments about all this.’
    • ‘Mandela spent 27 years in prison and his moral courage was respected worldwide.’
    • ‘Finally, you say that ‘on most issues, there is no clear right or wrong, particularly where moral issues are concerned’.’
    • ‘In this respect moral judgments are like judgments of beauty or intelligence.’
    • ‘It is also clear that moral principles and political judgments are inextricably intertwined.’
    • ‘Today's soldiers trust each other, they trust their leaders, they trust the Army, and they also understand the moral dimensions of war.’
    • ‘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.’
    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
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    1. 1.1Concerned 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’
      • ‘On the other hand, a duty is a moral obligation to do one specific thing over another without the freedom to decide.’
      • ‘We agreed that they are wrong from the moral and political point of view and they should end.’
      • ‘Further, the arguments are based in moral rather than legal terms.’
      • ‘It has to be something of substance, some legal, moral or even social duty, but it has to have substance.’
      • ‘So in reality many of our moral codes are based on internal convictions that lack pure and independent proof.’
      • ‘It is really up to the individual retailer to decide whether they are doing anything that breaches their legal or moral codes.’
      • ‘Moreover, statements are qualifiedly privileged if made pursuant to a legal, social or moral duty.’
      • ‘These movements demand strict conformity to sacred scriptures and to a moral code ostensibly based on these scriptures.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And that must be seen as an intensely moral, rather than legal, obligation.’
      • ‘Read simply, the Bible serves as the moral code upon which our society is based.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We ask of government to live up to its moral and legal obligation to efficiently and effectively deliver basic social services.’
      • ‘The society safeguards the moral and social code necessary for them to live together in harmony.’
      • ‘Portugal's holidays, its moral and legal codes, health and education systems have been greatly impacted by its Catholic heritage.’
      • ‘The second tendency is for societies to erect moral codes, which often frown on behaviour encoded by our selfish genes.’
      • ‘A girl's behaviour was molded to fit a society governed by a strict moral code and rigid social customs.’
      • ‘Unless one believes that there is an absolute obligation to obey every law, moral duty and legal duty will sometimes come into conflict.’
      • ‘Their moral code is based on the idea that right and wrong are constants and that those who disagree are by definition immoral.’
      • ‘People see accessibility as a costly hassle rather than a moral duty.’
    2. 1.2[attributive]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’
    • ‘What is the proper role for the military in this new political and moral relationship?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Probably, the sense of moral superiority and entrenched bureaucratic power is similar at both locations.’
    • ‘We don't just leave our ethical and moral selves at the door when we go to work.’
    • ‘The youths' values reflect a sense of moral self which is communal and is connected to others.’
    • ‘The sense of moral superiority afforded by this point of view was perhaps in lieu of economic, educational, and social opportunities.’
    • ‘And I think by what your values are you're going to instill in the students some sense of moral values.’
    • ‘And I agree: it's about a moral character in an immoral world.’
    • ‘These debates are driven by contrasting moral visions of the proper authority of teachers and the proper docility of students.’
    • ‘This is no romantic and idealistic battle for higher principles, fought by a moral and ethical aristocratic elite according to chivalric rules.’
    • ‘An election of a high standard should start with the moral character and conduct of the candidate.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘Thus, the formation of moral character in nursing forms the foundation for practice.’
    • ‘Ms Lay said her husband is an ‘honest, decent, moral human begin who would do absolutely nothing wrong.’’
    • ‘The root cause of crime is a lack of moral character.’
    • ‘Living an ethical, moral life should be one of the biggest priorities we have.’
    • ‘His pristine moral character exemplifies the power of human resolve, perseverance, and faith.’
    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
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  • 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 never think that everything will be easy, and that you have to make mistakes and work for every crumb that comes your way.’
    • ‘I can't find a moral in the story, or a worth-while lesson to be learned of it.’
    • ‘I guess the moral of this story is to question, always question.’
    • ‘The moral of this story is: the camera never lies so don't leave home without one.’
    • ‘So I guess the moral of this story is that you should never take things for granted.’
    • ‘The moral of this story is not that honesty works.’
    • ‘Perhaps the moral of this story is that you can't win.’
    • ‘Then I'll tell you: The moral of this story is to know what you fight for.’
    • ‘You should accept who you are, that is the moral of this tale.’
    • ‘And the moral of this story is, people who don't learn to take responsibility for their own actions often end up in prison.’
    • ‘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 for everyone involved is don't bite the hand that feeds you.’
    • ‘The moral of this story is to get it right the first time.’
    • ‘The moral of this story: Do not assume that I'm friendly and approachable.’
    • ‘So the moral of the story is, don't form an opinion until you've tried it for yourself.’
    • ‘The moral of this story is always stick to what you do best.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So here's the moral of this story, and it's intended for the hotel industry: Get back to basics already.’
    lesson, message, meaning, significance, signification, import, point, precept, teaching
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  • 2Standards of behaviour; principles of right and wrong.

    ‘the corruption of public morals’
    ‘they believe addicts have no morals and cannot be trusted’
    • ‘Generally, they do not care about morals and principles, as if such things had nothing to do with them.’
    • ‘There is such a thing as a modicum of decency and morals of public behaviour.’
    • ‘It totally overlooks right and wrong, morals, discipline, and manners.’
    • ‘My mother and father did a great job in instilling the morals and principles in us from the very beginning.’
    • ‘Raids were also conducted on premises to look for any behavior which might affront public morals.’
    • ‘The final decades of the seventeenth century had seen a distinct decline in public manners and morals.’
    • ‘Two common law offences need consideration, namely, conspiracy to corrupt public morals, and outraging public decency.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Relevant dimensions of difference include morals, values, standards, beliefs, and attitudes.’
    • ‘I guess it all depends on your own standards or morals really.’
    • ‘We create such morals based on the collective opinion that murder is wrong.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Everyone has their morals regarding public nudity.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her take on opposing views seems a bit wrong, and her concept of morals seems largely centered around material things.’
    • ‘My mum's problem is that her sense of right and wrong - her morals - is more important to her than her own safety.’
    • ‘They needed to learn integrity, character, morals, and faith by example.’
    • ‘A lot of people teach morals and I believe that everybody has their own standard of morals.’
    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
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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.