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a. A set of principles of right conduct.
b. A theory or a system of moral values: "An ethic of service is at war with a craving for gain" (Gregg Easterbrook).
2. ethics(used with a sing. verb) The study of the general nature of morals and of the specific moral choices to be made by a person; moral philosophy.
3. ethics(used with a sing. or pl. verb) The rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession: medical ethics.

[Middle English ethik, from Old French ethique (from Late Latin ēthica, from Greek ēthika, ethics) and from Latin ēthicē (from Greek ēthikē), both from Greek ēthikos, ethical, from ēthos, character; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots.]


(Philosophy) a moral principle or set of moral values held by an individual or group: the Puritan ethic.
another word for ethical
[C15: from Latin ēthicus, from Greek ēthikos, from ēthos custom; see ethos]


(ˈɛθ ɪk)

1. the body of moral principles or values held by or governing a culture, group, or individual: the Christian ethic; a personal ethic.
2. a moral precept or rule of conduct.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Latin ēthicus < Greek ēthikós=êth(os) ethos + -ikos -ic]


1. 'ethic'

A particular ethic is an idea or moral belief that influences the behaviour and attitudes of a group of people.

...the ethic of public service.
...the Protestant work ethic.
2. 'ethics'

Ethics are moral beliefs and rules about right and wrong. When you use ethics with this meaning, it is a plural noun. You use a plural form of a verb with it.

Such action was a violation of medical ethics.

Ethics is also the study of questions about what is morally right or wrong. When ethics has this meaning, it is an uncount noun. You use a singular form of a verb with it.

We are only too ready to believe that ethics is a field where thinking does no good.
3. 'ethical'

Ethic is never an adjective. The adjective that means 'relating to ethics' is ethical. ethical problem.
He had no real ethical objection to drinking.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ethic - the principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual or a social group; "the Puritan ethic"; "a person with old-fashioned values"
principle - a rule or standard especially of good behavior; "a man of principle"; "he will not violate his principles"
Chartism - the principles of a body of 19th century English reformers who advocated better social and economic conditions for working people
2.ethic - a system of principles governing morality and acceptable conduct
system of rules, system - a complex of methods or rules governing behavior; "they have to operate under a system they oppose"; "that language has a complex system for indicating gender"
precept, principle - rule of personal conduct
double standard - an ethical or moral code that applies more strictly to one group than to another


1. A rule or habit of conduct with regard to right and wrong or a body of such rules and habits:
ethicality, moral (used in plural), morality.
2. The moral quality of a course of action.Used in plural:


[ˈeθɪk] Nética f
see also work D


[ˈɛθɪk] n (= principle) → éthique f
the ethic of public service → l'éthique du service public
see also ethics


nEthik f, → Ethos nt


[ˈɛθɪk] netica
the work ethic → l'etica del lavoro, la deontologia professionale
References in classic literature ?
But in education ethic melody and ethic harmony should be used, which is the Doric, as we have already said, or any other which those philosophers who are skilful in that music which is to be employed in education shall approve of.
You have thrown aside a creed, but you have preserved the ethic which was based upon it.
Rather was it some sense of law, an ethic of her race and early environment, that compelled her to interpose her body between her husband and the helpless murderer.
This instinct is stronger than any ethic they possess.
She smiled her approval, for she shared with Billy his horror of debt, just as both shared it with that early tide of pioneers with a Puritan ethic, which had settled the West.
Examination candidates sitting in the State of Texas can satisfy the professional ethics requirement by passing a professional ethics course pre-approved by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.
With the collaboration ethic model in mind, let's look at ways camps foster collaboration.
These sessions are designed not to simply discuss the issue but to help ethics and compliance professionals develop effective solutions for ethical challenges.
The format allows Arneson to ask similar questions of all scholars while allowing them to tell their stories of how their work with communication ethics has developed.
The Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) today adopted a Code of Ethics for Compliance and Ethics Professionals.
Professor Somerville hopes to reach a shared ethics with those who base their ethics on principle (the source of which is divine revelation and natural law understood as divine law as seen by the light of human reason) and with those who base their ethics on a human-based morality (consensus ethics).
When leadership truly wants ethics to happen on their watch and individuals to accept the vision personally and programmatically, the corporate result is: people get it, buy into it, and live it.