[ eth-ik ]
/ ˈɛθ ɪk /


the body of moral principles or values governing or distinctive of a particular culture or group: the Christian ethic; the tribal ethic of the Zuni.
a complex of moral precepts held or rules of conduct followed by an individual: a personal ethic.

Nearby words

  1. etherege, sir george,
  2. etheric,
  3. etherify,
  4. etherize,
  5. ethernet,
  6. ethical,
  7. ethical culture,
  8. ethical hacker,
  9. ethical investment,
  10. ethical relativism

Origin of ethic

1350–1400; Middle English ethic, etic < Latin ēthicus < Greek ēthikós, equivalent to êth(os) ethos + -ikos -ic

Related formsnon·eth·ic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ethic

British Dictionary definitions for ethic


/ (ˈɛθɪk) /


a moral principle or set of moral values held by an individual or groupthe Puritan ethic


another word for ethical
See also ethics

Word Origin for ethic

C15: from Latin ēthicus, from Greek éthikos, from ēthos custom; see ethos

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

Word Origin and History for ethic



late 14c., ethik "study of morals," from Old French etique (13c.), from Late Latin ethica, from Greek ethike philosophia "moral philosophy," fem. of ethikos "ethical," from ethos "moral character," related to ethos "custom" (see ethos). Meaning "a person's moral principles" is attested from 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper