• 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 moralizer

Historical Examples of moralizer

  • "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

British Dictionary definitions for moralizer



  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 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper