- of, relating to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical: moral attitudes.
- expressing or conveying truths or counsel as to right conduct, as a speaker or a literary work.
- founded on the fundamental principles of right conduct rather than on legalities, enactment, or custom: moral obligations.
- capable of conforming to the rules of right conduct: a moral being.
- conforming to the rules of right conduct (opposed to immoral): a moral man.
- virtuous in sexual matters; chaste.
- of, relating to, or acting on the mind, feelings, will, or character: moral support.
- resting upon convincing grounds of probability; virtual: a moral certainty.
- the moral teaching or practical lesson contained in a fable, tale, experience, etc.
- the embodiment or type of something.
- morals, principles or habits with respect to right or wrong conduct.
Origin of moral
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for moral
The story of fluoridation reads like a postmodern fable, and the moral is clear: a scientific discovery might seem like a boon.Anti-Fluoriders Are The OG Anti-Vaxxers
July 27, 2016
That had to give them an enormous reservoir of moral strength and solace.Hitler’s Hail Mary
James A. Warren
December 20, 2014
But it remains a moral crime to vilify good cops who have made the city safe, saving thousands of lives.Protesters Slimed This Good Samaritan Cop
December 16, 2014
For far too long, we have been coasting on a moral authority to which we long ago lost any clear title.After Torture Report, Our Moral Authority As a Nation Is Gone
December 11, 2014
He had a fine eye for moral hypocrisy, and I know that a glaring example of it would not have escaped his notice.How Richard Pryor Beat Bill Cosby and Transformed America
David Yaffe, Scott Saul
December 10, 2014
But moral conviction and legal proof are quite different things.Brave and Bold
From evil—physical, moral, and political—it is not our claim to be exempt.
There is no limit to the moral baseness of the man of avarice.
The story will signally fail of its purpose if it does not carry its own moral with it.
The moral discipline of the school was also called in question.
- concerned with or relating to human behaviour, esp the distinction between good and bad or right and wrong behaviourmoral sense
- adhering to conventionally accepted standards of conduct
- based on a sense of right and wrong according to consciencemoral courage; moral law
- having psychological rather than tangible effectsmoral support
- having the effects but not the appearance of (victory or defeat)a moral victory; a moral defeat
- having a strong probabilitya moral certainty
- law (of evidence, etc) based on a knowledge of the tendencies of human nature
- the lesson to be obtained from a fable or eventpoint the moral
- a concise truth; maxim
- (plural) principles of behaviour in accordance with standards of right and wrong
Word Origin and History for moral
mid-14c., "pertaining to character or temperament" (good or bad), from Old French moral (14c.) and directly from Latin moralis "proper behavior of a person in society," literally "pertaining to manners," coined by Cicero ("De Fato," II.i) to translate Greek ethikos (see ethics) from Latin mos (genitive moris) "one's disposition," in plural, "mores, customs, manners, morals," of uncertain origin. Perhaps sharing a PIE root with English mood (1).
Meaning "morally good, conforming to moral rules," is first recorded late 14c. of stories, 1630s of persons. Original value-neutral sense preserved in moral support, moral victory (with sense of "pertaining to character as opposed to physical action"). Related: Morally.
"moral exposition of a story," c.1500, from moral (adj.) and from French moral and Late Latin morale.