Definition of morality in English:


nounPlural moralities

mass noun
  • 1Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour.

    ‘the matter boiled down to simple morality: innocent prisoners ought to be freed’
    • ‘You talk about ethics or morality or quality of life.’
    • ‘If the sciences are indifferent to morality, what's to be done?’
    • ‘People often act contrary to their expressed beliefs, including morality. so what defines morality?’
    • ‘In principle this remarkably comprehensive scheme allows no ultimate distinction between religion and morality, law and ethics.’
    • ‘The message spoken in this election reflects a nation less concerned with morality and compassion than past generations, and far more content to wallow in its bigotry and jingoism.’
    • ‘Government is not a good source for teaching ethics, morality or social behavior.’
    • ‘For at root, the impetus for rejecting traditional morality is protective, not permissive.’
    • ‘Utilitarianism in moral philosophy is the view that morality should be aimed at promoting wellbeing.’
    • ‘As I have been suggesting, the distinction between law and morality has certain implications for its subject.’
    • ‘For Aquinas the norms of morality are defined in terms of their relationship to human happiness.’
    • ‘Maybe the fine distinctions between ethics and morality should be simplified.’
    • ‘As has been mentioned previously, morality is fundamentally concerned with the effects of actions on other people.’
    • ‘The author's approach is inspired by concepts of morality and reason as well as faith, but they are remote from the kind of applied fanaticism that goes with the psychology of terrorism.’
    • ‘In fact, such ethics, as well as the morality that underlies them, are nothing more than man-made myth to the atheist.’
    • ‘The background thought is then that morality is concerned with the production and fair distribution of human good.’
    • ‘The law is concerned chiefly with money and bears little relation to morality or natural justice.’
    • ‘The Church's view that there could be no morality without religion was rejected.’
    • ‘In A Treatise Cudworth argues not only that ideas exist independently of human minds, but also the principles of morality are eternal and immutable.’
    • ‘In the course of what I have to say, the distinction between morality as convenience and morality as ideal will virtually collapse, along with a good deal else.’
    • ‘Does our intuition in favour of meaningful commitments violate the idea that morality concerns consequences?’
    ethics, rights and wrongs, correctness, ethicality
    virtue, goodness, good behaviour, righteousness, rectitude, uprightness
    moral standards, morals, moral code, ethics, principles of right and wrong, rules of conduct, principles of behaviour, standards of behaviour, ethos, mores, standards, ideals
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1count noun A particular system of values and principles of conduct.
      ‘a bourgeois morality’
      • ‘All human interpersonal behaviour then, comes down to an expression of the underlying value system - the morality - of the individual or group.’
      • ‘Being stuck between two cultures, between two different moralities can be a very difficult thing.’
      • ‘The morality of this country, the standards we expect people in public life to uphold, are being undermined for as long as people ignore the situation.’
      • ‘Public health outreach workers must understand how people experience their romantic relationships and their social hierarchies and moralities.’
      • ‘‘The Jealous God’ is based on the novel by John Braine and is set in the 1960s, capturing people's struggles within the morality of the time.’
      • ‘Ambivalence best characterizes the American approach to legislating personal morality.’
      • ‘Writing around the time Beecher wrote, Elizabeth Cady Stanton also found differences between women's and men's moralities.’
      • ‘Personal morality is not imposed by any outside agency.’
      • ‘In 1949 Britain was still in the grip of rationing, public attitudes to sex were dictated by the morality of an earlier age and sex was supposed to be kept within marriage.’
      • ‘But Christian morality is based on the Christian worldview.’
      • ‘The morality of the officer class may have been severe, but at least this country stood for something then.’
      • ‘The superman creates his own morality based on human instincts, drive and will.’
      • ‘When I challenged him on the morality of this, he said that just as he couldn't accept my morality, so I would just have to live with his morality.’
      • ‘People can be free to live lives of differing moralities within the same state.’
      • ‘What this presupposes, of course, is that men and women are subject to different moralities.’
      • ‘When ‘liberalish’ elites decide to impose their social moralities on society, generally they've been pretty successful.’
      • ‘Adults adopt an essentially Kantian moral perspective that seeks to transcend and judge all conventional moralities.’
      • ‘I feel protective of her because people are judging her by today's moralities and it was very, very different then.’
      • ‘The morality of a country is judged by the way it treats its animals.’
      • ‘She was such a compelling, unconventional character, yet people might question her morality.’
    2. 1.2 The extent to which an action is right or wrong.
      ‘the issue of the morality of the possession of nuclear weapons’
      • ‘Instead, I question the morality of legislating against a group simply seeking a better pay for a dangerous job.’
      • ‘It was only a minority, such as a few church figures at Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, who questioned the morality of apartheid.’
      • ‘But, leaving aside the morality of playing judge, jury and executioner in my own private war crimes proceedings, what good would it have done?’
      • ‘Understand, I'm not judging the morality of recreational drug use here.’
      • ‘The morality of threats to use mass-destructive force, even if the intent is to deter or effectively preclude such wars, has been hotly disputed.’
      • ‘The morality of all actions is defined in relation to outcomes.’
      • ‘Laurel had never before thought to question the morality of what she was doing; she had merely done what was necessary to find out the truth.’
      • ‘But though we may disagree with the morality of his criteria, we must concede his right to make the allocation in whatever way he wishes.’
      • ‘The morality of sanctioned assassination depends mainly on whether and when one can justify murder.’
      • ‘The state would provide equality under the law and people would be free to express their belief about the morality of same-sex marriage through free association.’
      • ‘The protagonist is a young man who despises a violent duty he is expected to preform, and who questions the morality of performing this duty.’
      • ‘The morality of the choice each woman makes is between her and her creator.’
      • ‘The morality of releasing a dead man's journals is debatable, and the temptation not to buy it will be strong for many.’
      • ‘But the war also divided the country on issues of foreign policy, the United Nations and the morality of war itself.’
      • ‘The morality of a war, perhaps tragically so, is usually judged by the way it was waged and its aftermath.’
      • ‘The editors have taken the results of their survey to heart, and published several articles on the morality of war this issue.’
      • ‘The morality of ending human life is something I will come to in more detail in Chapter 9.’
      • ‘The book continued to ask questions about the morality of his killing.’
      • ‘There's a hodgepodge of moral issues here, but the main questions seem to be about the psychology of a potential clone's parents rather than the morality of cloning itself.’
      • ‘Not once, however, did the church's or Mary's personal opinion on the morality of abortion enter their conversation.’


Late Middle English: from Old French moralite or late Latin moralitas, from Latin moralis (see moral).