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[ih-mawr-uh l, ih-mor-] /ɪˈmɔr əl, ɪˈmɒr-/
violating moral principles; not conforming to the patterns of conduct usually accepted or established as consistent with principles of personal and social ethics.
licentious or lascivious.
Origin of immoral
First recorded in 1650-60; im-2 + moral
Related forms
immorally, adverb
bad, wicked, dissolute, dissipated, profligate. Immoral, abandoned, depraved describe one who makes no attempt to curb self-indulgence. Immoral, referring to conduct, applies to one who acts contrary to or does not obey or conform to standards of morality; it may also mean licentious and perhaps dissipated. Abandoned, referring to condition, applies to one hopelessly, and usually passively, sunk in wickedness and unrestrained appetites. Depraved, referring to character, applies to one who voluntarily seeks evil and viciousness. Immoral, amoral, nonmoral, and unmoral are sometimes confused with one another. Immoral means not moral and connotes evil or licentious behavior. Amoral, nonmoral, and unmoral, virtually synonymous although the first is by far the most common form, mean utterly lacking in morals (either good or bad), neither moral nor immoral. However, since, in some contexts, there is a stigma implicit in a complete lack of morals, being amoral, nonmoral, or unmoral is sometimes considered just as reprehensible as being immoral. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for immoral
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I make no excuse for this immoral act, and ask no one to say I did right.

    Biography of a Slave Charles Thompson
  • To him all forms of betting were highly disastrous—most immoral.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • In the event of failure such outbreaks are punished, but they are not regarded as immoral.

    Green Mansions W. H. Hudson
  • There were no young girls present, as the piece was too immoral.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • You think I hold that to be unnatural because it is immoral?

    Freeland Theodor Hertzka
British Dictionary definitions for immoral


transgressing accepted moral rules; corrupt
sexually dissolute; profligate or promiscuous
unscrupulous or unethical: immoral trading
tending to corrupt or resulting from corruption: an immoral film, immoral earnings
Derived Forms
immorally, adverb
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 immoral

1650s, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not" + moral (adj.). Related: Immorally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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