[ eth-i-kuhl ]
See synonyms for: ethicalethicalityethicallyethicalness on

  1. pertaining to or dealing with morals or the principles of morality; pertaining to right and wrong in conduct.

  2. being in accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct or practice, especially the standards of a profession: It was not considered ethical for physicians to advertise.

  1. (of drugs) sold only upon medical prescription.

Origin of ethical

First recorded in 1600–10; ethic + -al1

Other words for ethical

Opposites for ethical

Other words from ethical

  • eth·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • eth·i·cal·i·ty [eth-i-kal-i-tee], /ɛθ ɪˈkæl ɪ ti/, eth·i·cal·ness, noun
  • hy·per·eth·i·cal, adjective
  • non·eth·i·cal, adjective
  • pseu·do·eth·i·cal, adjective
  • su·per·eth·i·cal, adjective
  • un·eth·i·cal, adjective

Words Nearby ethical Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ethical in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ethical


/ (ˈɛθɪkəl) /

  1. in accordance with principles of conduct that are considered correct, esp those of a given profession or group

  2. of or relating to ethics

  1. (of a medicinal agent) available legally only with a doctor's prescription or consent

Derived forms of ethical

  • ethically, adverb
  • ethicalness or ethicality, 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