• synonyms


[mawr-uh-lahyz, mor-]
verb (used without object), mor·al·ized, mor·al·iz·ing.
  1. to reflect on or express opinions about something in terms of right and wrong, especially in a self-righteous or tiresome way.
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verb (used with object), mor·al·ized, mor·al·iz·ing.
  1. to explain in a moral sense, or draw a moral from.
  2. to improve the morals of.
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Also especially British, mor·al·ise.

Origin of moralize

1350–1400; Middle English moralisen < Medieval Latin mōrālizāre. See moral, -ize
Related formsmor·al·i·za·tion, nounmor·al·iz·er, nounmor·al·iz·ing·ly, adverbo·ver·mor·al·ize, verb, o·ver·mor·al·ized, o·ver·mor·al·iz·ing.o·ver·mor·al·iz·ing·ly, adverbun·mor·al·iz·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for moralising

Historical Examples

  • Thus Shakib, who has caught the moralising evil from his Master.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • But I will not—here at least—plunge into a moralising strain.

  • Charlie was not given to moralising, but somehow he could not help it that day.

  • Mr Ravenshaw was left alone, moralising on the depravity of human nature.

    The Red Man's Revenge

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • So with Godolphin: he was too refined in his moralising to cling to what was moral.

    Godolphin, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

British Dictionary definitions for moralising



  1. (intr) to make moral pronouncements
  2. (tr) to interpret or explain in a moral sense
  3. (tr) to improve the morals of
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Derived Formsmoralization or moralisation, nounmoralizer or 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

Word Origin and History for moralising



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper