Definition of moralist in US English:

moralist

noun

  • 1A person who teaches or promotes morality.

    • ‘Of all the Greek moralists, Aristotle provides the most psychologically insightful account of virtuous character.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It has been characteristic of the French tradition of moralists that they are observers, reporting elegantly on the perennial human condition.’
    • ‘Approximately half the entry is on the Greek moralists Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics.’
    • ‘He was not simply a writer, but in his later decades a moralist and philosopher who influenced, among others, Gandhi.’
    • ‘Legal developments have also been influenced by the changing perceptions of philosophers and moralists in relation to living creatures.’
    • ‘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.’
    pietist, prude, prig, moral fanatic, moral zealot, killjoy, mrs grundy, grundy, old maid, schoolmarm, victorian, priggish person, ascetic
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    1. 1.1 A person given to moralizing.
      • ‘You know: not all moral people are moralists, nor all moralists moralistic.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But also the moralist forgets that morality cannot be imposed or legislated or begotten by an act of will.’
      • ‘One problem with absolutism about honesty is that it drives the moralist into a kind of dishonesty of her own.’
      • ‘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.
      • ‘He is the moralist for whom, in the religious life, morality counts as everything.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You also might know that he was a defender of orthodoxy in a turbulent time and a stern moralist.’
      • ‘‘She was a moralist and puritan who would consider the topic of sex a taboo,’ he said.’

Pronunciation

moralist

/ˈmɔrələst//ˈmôrələst/