Definition of moral victory in US English:

moral victory


  • A defeat that can be interpreted as a victory on moral terms, for example because the defeated party defended their principles.

    • ‘I am claiming a moral victory, I don't count losing on penalties.’
    • ‘So as I said, it was a moral victory, but it was not a financial victory.’
    • ‘And the settlement constitutes a key precedent for 60 similar suits pending against Japanese companies - and a fine moral victory.’
    • ‘The week after his moral victory at Martinsville, Gordon finally rediscovered actual victory, winning a wild 500-miler at Talladega.’
    • ‘In the light of a problematic tour and a record Test defeat last week, the goalposts had moved so far that even many New Zealanders regarded a gritty 34-point loss as something of a moral victory.’
    • ‘Sometimes moral victory can be far more beneficial and I have a feeling that this young Casey man has the makings of a very successful artist.’
    • ‘South Africa got a draw and a moral victory from the first test.’
    • ‘Yet, in a sense it was almost a moral victory for the youthful Limerick team who were nine points behind after 20 minutes.’
    • ‘Even if we had not got the result I felt we had a moral victory.’
    • ‘‘It would be a moral victory to draw the series just because of the minor criticism we've taken,’ admitted Fletcher.’
    • ‘Unfortunately we came up short, but there was a sense of a moral victory around the place, which can lead teams into complacency.’
    • ‘But that was a moral victory, and it was the best Scotland performance I've ever been involved with.’
    • ‘The victory over communism was a moral victory.’
    • ‘As you can imagine, with such a small pool of players to choose from we weren't exactly endowed with the best of talent, and if we managed to keep the opposition to less than 10 goals it was seen as a moral victory.’
    • ‘It was a moral victory for the lads and if we can continue that application we will start to win a few.’
    • ‘Prior to this fixture, he said he wouldn't be satisfied with the moral victory of just doing well and putting on a respectable display.’
    • ‘‘We didn't stop it but we thought we had won a moral victory,’ said Roche.’


moral victory

/ˈmɔrəl ˈvɪkt(ə)ri/