• Moral


    • RP IPA: /ˈmɒrəl/
    • US IPA: /ˈmɔrəl/
    • Rhymes: -ɒrəl


    From French moral, from Latin mōrālis ("relating to manners or morals")

    (first used by Cicero, to translate Ancient Greek ἠθικός (ēthikos, "moral")), from mos ("manner, custom").

    Full definition of moral



    1. Of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behaviour, especially for teaching right behaviour.
      moral judgments;  a moral poem
      • Nathaniel HawthorneShe had wandered without rule or guidance in a moral wilderness.
    2. Conforming to a standard of right behaviour; sanctioned by or operative on one's conscience or ethical judgment.
      • Sir M. Halethe wiser and more moral part of mankind
      • 1898, Winston Churchill, The Celebrity Chapter 1, The stories did not seem to me to touch life. They were plainly intended to have a bracing moral effect, and perhaps had this result for the people at whom they were aimed. They left me with the impression of a well-delivered stereopticon lecture, with characters about as life-like as the shadows on the screen, and whisking on and off, at the mercy of the operator.
    3. a moral obligation
    4. Capable of right and wrong action.
      a moral agent
    5. Probable but not proved.
      a moral certainty
    6. Positively affecting the mind, confidence, or will.
      a moral victory;  moral support


    Derived terms

    Related terms

    Terms etymologically related to moral



    (plural morals)
    1. (of a narrative) The ethical significance or practical lesson.The moral of the The Boy Who Cried Wolf is that if you repeatedly lie, people won't believe you when you tell the truth.
      • MacaulayWe protest against the principle that the world of pure comedy is one into which no moral enters.
    2. Moral practices or teachings: modes of conduct.
    3. (obsolete) A morality play.




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