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[ey-mawr-uh l, a-mawr-, ey-mor-, a-mor-] /eɪˈmɔr əl, æˈmɔr-, eɪˈmɒr-, æˈmɒr-/
not involving questions of right or wrong; without moral quality; neither moral nor immoral.
having no moral standards, restraints, or principles; unaware of or indifferent to questions of right or wrong:
a completely amoral person.
Origin of amoral
First recorded in 1880-85; a-6 + moral
Related forms
amoralism, noun
[ey-muh-ral-i-tee, am-uh-] /ˌeɪ məˈræl ɪ ti, ˌæm ə-/ (Show IPA),
amorally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for amoral
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Children and parents were amoral and competed for the same resources.

  • Fighting to hold her man; fighting the unknown odds of an alien world, the stealthy seduction of an amoral people.

    Impact Irving E. Cox
  • In respect to justice, to right and wrong, the spirit of Christianity is not so much immoral as amoral.

    A Grammar of Freethought Chapman Cohen
  • Iago has been described as immoral; he does not seem to me to be immoral, but amoral, as the intellect always is.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • At one end were the amoral characters whose excesses became steadily worse as the situation blackened.

    The Armed Forces Officer

    U. S. Department of Defense
British Dictionary definitions for amoral


having no moral quality; nonmoral
without moral standards or principles
Derived Forms
amorality (ˌeɪmɒˈrælɪtɪ) noun
amorally, adverb
Usage note
Amoral is often wrongly used where immoral is meant. Immoral is properly used to talk about the breaking of moral rules, amoral about people who have no moral code or about places or situations where moral considerations do not apply
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for amoral

"ethically indifferent," 1882, a hybrid formed from Greek privative prefix a- "not" (see a- (3)) + moral, which is derived from Latin. First used by Robert Louis Stephenson (1850-1894) as a differentiation from immoral.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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