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[mawr-uh-lahyz, mor-] /ˈmɔr əˌlaɪz, ˈmɒr-/
verb (used without object), moralized, moralizing.
to reflect on or express opinions about something in terms of right and wrong, especially in a self-righteous or tiresome way.
verb (used with object), moralized, moralizing.
to explain in a moral sense, or draw a moral from.
to improve the morals of.
Also, especially British, moralise.
Origin of moralize
1350-1400; Middle English moralisen < Medieval Latin mōrālizāre. See moral, -ize
Related forms
moralization, noun
moralizer, noun
moralizingly, adverb
overmoralize, verb, overmoralized, overmoralizing.
overmoralizingly, adverb
unmoralizing, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for moralizer
Historical Examples
  • "And with too good reason, sir," said Linton, assuming the look and air of a moralizer.

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
  • Still, he could not explain this to Charnock; he was not a moralizer or clever at argument.

    The Girl From Keller's Harold Bindloss
  • The moralizer was touched by a grenadier with the butt end of his musket, so that the "spirit fell into the ditch."

  • The old man looks eastward, and (for he is a moralizer) frames a simile of the stage coach and the sun.

  • Brooke laughed softly, as he watched the water run down the moralizer's nose.

    A Damaged Reputation Harold Bindloss
  • The old man looks eastward, and (for he is a moralizer) frames a simile of the stage-coach and the sun.

    Twice Told Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • A moralizer might find abundant themes for his speculative and impracticable wisdom in a garret.

    Twice Told Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • She is more obviously, more consciously a preacher and moralizer than any of her great contemporaries.

    English Literature William J. Long
  • I am no moralizer; but the gay and rapid river and the dark and silent lake were, of a verity, no bad emblems of us two.

    Lavengro George Borrow
  • If the moralizer knew just when to stop moralizing, how much longer the flavor of his philosophy would endure.

British Dictionary definitions for moralizer


(intransitive) to make moral pronouncements
(transitive) to interpret or explain in a moral sense
(transitive) to improve the morals of
Derived Forms
moralization, moralisation, noun
moralizer, moraliser, noun
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 moralizer



c.1400, "expound or interpret spiritual or moral significance," from Old French moraliser and directly from Late Latin moralizare, from moralis (see moral (adj.)). Related: Moralized; moralizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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