Definition of ethic in US English:

ethic

noun

  • A set of moral principles, especially ones relating to or affirming a specified group, field, or form of conduct.

    ‘the puritan ethic was being replaced by the hedonist ethic’
    • ‘Gender equality may not be too far off, given that action sports typically enjoy a community ethic.’
    • ‘The original culture, with its strict mores enforcing an ethic of sharing, is apparently losing its dominance.’
    • ‘His writings and addresses increasingly dealt with the ethics and morality of the end of life.’
    • ‘Christians have occasionally suggested that all of society should run on an ethic of brotherly love.’
    • ‘But a strong work ethic was instilled in him at an early age.’
    • ‘Buddhism does have a strong sexual ethic, but not a repressive one.’
    • ‘The language of social justice also needs to be moderated and shaped by an ethic of care.’
    • ‘Is the core ethic of our society to maximise personal wealth?’
    • ‘The programme was also intended to develop the ethic of natural resource conservation.’
    • ‘Miller was a persistent critic not of commerce, but of the commercial ethic as an all-embracing ideology.’
    • ‘Together, we will need to build a new ethic of global stewardship.’
    • ‘Over the past three decades environmentalism has evolved from a social movement to a societal ethic.’
    • ‘The ethic of public service was passed on from his father, who worked in the island's customs office.’
    • ‘This was the reality of the collectivist ethic in which each should be striving for all, not for himself and his own.’
    • ‘Maybe I do have a residual Protestant work ethic after all.’
    • ‘For an ethic is not an ethic, and a value not a value without some sacrifice to it.’
    • ‘Acting on strong moral convictions ought to be part of an ethic of responsibility.’
    • ‘It asserts the value of a socialist ethic that de-emphasises self-promotion.’
    • ‘Underlying this system is an ethic that seems to value discipline and sacrifice for their own sake.’
    • ‘Today, the religious element of that work ethic has largely gone - but the ethic itself remains.’
    • ‘It is a rational, utilitarian, practical ethic, deeply American and consumerist.’
    doctrine, belief, creed, credo, attitude, rule, golden rule, guideline, formula, standard, criterion, tenet, truism, code, maxim, motto, axiom, aphorism, notion, dictum, dogma, canon, law
    View synonyms

adjective

rare
  • Relating to moral principles or the branch of knowledge dealing with these.

    • ‘Of course these ethic questions must be answered in the comfort of your own home safe and warm at night.’
    • ‘I think there is an ethic question here.’

Origin

Late Middle English (denoting ethics or moral philosophy; also used attributively): from Old French éthique, from Latin ethice, from Greek (hē) ēthikē (tekhnē) ‘(the science of) morals’, based on ēthos (see ethos).

Pronunciation

ethic

/ˈɛθɪk//ˈeTHik/