• synonyms


[mawr-uh-lahyz, mor-]
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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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for moralize

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It is easy for persons with plenty of money to moralize on the shortcomings of others.

  • If I do not moralize as I go along, I shall not have a chance to do it any where else.

    An Old Sailor's Yarns

    Nathaniel Ames

  • They were not here to moralize—they had something else to do.

    The Trail of a Sourdough

    May Kellogg Sullivan

  • Here we might moralize if we had the room, but moralizing is out of the question.

  • So he watched the woman gravely, and began to moralize with all his might.

    A Simpleton

    Charles Reade

British Dictionary definitions for moralize



  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 moralize


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