Definition of moralist in English:



  • 1A person who teaches or promotes morality.

    • ‘It has been characteristic of the French tradition of moralists that they are observers, reporting elegantly on the perennial human condition.’
    • ‘Legal developments have also been influenced by the changing perceptions of philosophers and moralists in relation to living creatures.’
    • ‘Historians and moralists, for example, assess the responsibility of agents for the outcomes, political, social, economic or military of what they did or failed to do.’
    • ‘The most famous legal moralist is Patrick Devlin, who argues that a shared morality is essential to the existence of a society.’
    • ‘Third, moral philosophers and moralists in the wake of eighteenth-century cosmopolitanisms have insisted that we human beings have a duty to aid fellow humans in need, regardless of their citizenship status.’
    • ‘Of all the Greek moralists, Aristotle provides the most psychologically insightful account of virtuous character.’
    • ‘He was not simply a writer, but in his later decades a moralist and philosopher who influenced, among others, Gandhi.’
    • ‘Approximately half the entry is on the Greek moralists Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics.’
    • ‘For a moralist teaches us the anatomy of virtue and vice, helping us to see and understand what is at stake in particular judgments and practices.’
    • ‘He was a moralist deeply suspicious of how moralism is used.’
    • ‘As poet and critic, philosopher and moralist and metaphysician, he to some extent invented those new, difficult and radical criteria by which we have learned to judge work like his own.’
    moralist, pietist, prude, prig, moral fanatic, moral zealot, killjoy, mrs grundy, grundy, old maid, schoolmarm, victorian, priggish person, ascetic
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A person given to moralizing.
      • ‘But also the moralist forgets that morality cannot be imposed or legislated or begotten by an act of will.’
      • ‘He makes the telling point that the language of child protection offers one of the few ways our society has to restrict corporate behavior, even as it is invoked by moralists eager to impose their own ethical code on society as a whole.’
      • ‘You know: not all moral people are moralists, nor all moralists moralistic.’
      • ‘One problem with absolutism about honesty is that it drives the moralist into a kind of dishonesty of her own.’
      • ‘Gide, being the moralist he is, otherwise pays heed only to the book's intent and not to its consequences.’
      • ‘Conservative moralists find in Freud a justification for a morality of restraint.’
      • ‘But donning the robes of the moralist presents problems of its own, notably the problem of Presentism, that is judging historical figures by contemporary moral standards.’
    2. 1.2rare A person who behaves in a morally commendable way.
      • ‘‘She was a moralist and puritan who would consider the topic of sex a taboo,’ he said.’
      • ‘It's such a fascinating world and as soon as people can stop thinking of the Victorians as stuffy moralists then they can see that they were very sensual and rich.’
      • ‘He is the moralist for whom, in the religious life, morality counts as everything.’
      • ‘You also might know that he was a defender of orthodoxy in a turbulent time and a stern moralist.’