Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


 (môr′əl, mŏr′-)
1. Of or concerned with the judgment of right or wrong of human action and character: moral scrutiny; a moral quandary.
2. Teaching or exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behavior: a moral lesson.
3. Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior; virtuous: a moral life.
4. Arising from conscience or the sense of right and wrong: a moral obligation.
5. Having psychological rather than physical or tangible effects: a moral victory; moral support.
6. Based on strong likelihood or firm conviction, rather than on the actual evidence: a moral certainty.
1. The lesson or principle contained in or taught by a fable, a story, or an event.
2. A concisely expressed precept or general truth; a maxim: likes to follow the moral "To each, his own."
3. morals Rules or habits of conduct, especially of sexual conduct, with reference to standards of right and wrong: a person of loose morals; a decline in the public morals.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin mōrālis, from mōs, mōr-, custom; see mē- in Indo-European roots.]

mor′al·ly adv.
Synonyms: moral, ethical, virtuous, righteous
These adjectives mean in accord with right or good conduct. Moral applies to personal character and behavior: "Our moral sense dictates a clearcut preference for these societies which share with us an abiding respect for individual human rights" (Jimmy Carter).
Ethical stresses idealistic standards of right and wrong: "Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants" (Omar Bradley).
Virtuous implies moral excellence and loftiness of character: "The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous" (Frederick Douglass).
Righteous emphasizes moral uprightness; when it is applied to actions, reactions, or impulses, it often implies justifiable outrage: "It was righteous anger that motivated letters written by whistle-blowing employees" (Sandra P. Thomas).
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.morals - motivation based on ideas of right and wrong
motivation, motive, need - the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior; "we did not understand his motivation"; "he acted with the best of motives"
hedonism - the pursuit of pleasure as a matter of ethical principle
conscience, moral sense, scruples, sense of right and wrong - motivation deriving logically from ethical or moral principles that govern a person's thoughts and actions
Christ Within, Inner Light, Light Within, Light - a divine presence believed by Quakers to enlighten and guide the soul
quy tắc đạo đức


(ˈmorəl) adjective
of, or relating to, character or behaviour especially right behaviour. high moral standards; He leads a very moral (= good) life.
the lesson to be learned from something that happens, or from a story. The moral of this story is that crime doesn't pay.
ˈmorally adverb
moˈrality noun
morals noun plural
one's principles and behaviour. He has no morals and will do anything for money.


أخْلَاقٌ mravy moralbegreber Moral ήθη moralidad moraali morale moral principi morali 品行 윤리 moralen etikk morały princípios morais нравы moral หลักความประพฤติ ahlak kuralları quy tắc đạo đức 品行
References in classic literature ?
Davis knew any quantity of Greek, Latin, algebra, and ologies of all sorts so he was called a fine teacher, and manners, morals, feelings, and examples were not considered of any particular importance.
He was one of the martyrs to that terrible delusion, which should teach us, among its other morals, that the influential classes, and those who take upon themselves to be leaders of the people, are fully liable to all the passionate error that has ever characterized the maddest mob.
Thus it was with the men of rank, on whom their eminent position imposed the guardianship of the public morals.
But we don't quite fancy, when women and ministers come out broad and square, and go beyond us in matters of either modesty or morals, that's a fact.
However, I had read "Tom Jones," and "Rod- erick Random," and other books of that kind, and knew that the highest and first ladies and gentlemen in England had remained little or no cleaner in their talk, and in the morals and conduct which such talk implies, clear up to a hundred years ago; in fact clear into our own nineteenth century -- in which century, broadly speaking, the earliest samples of the real lady and real gentleman discoverable in English history -- or in European history, for that matter -- may be said to have made their appearance.
He hasn't any more principle than a blue jay; and as for morals, he's empty.
The most permanent lessons in morals are those which come, not of booky teaching, but of experience.
I'm unfavorable to killin' a man as long as you can git aroun' it; it ain't good sense, it ain't good morals.
Had he been a man of pure morals himself, he might have been thought interested in protecting the innocence of my aunt; but those who knew him will not suspect him of any such virtue.
You mean," I said, "that you are fortunate in living in a society where, as in heaven, there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage, where in fact nobody minds whether you're married or not, and where morals are very properly regarded as a personal and private matter--"
All those minute circumstances belonging to private life and domestic character, all that gives verisimilitude to a narrative, and individuality to the persons introduced, is still known and remembered in Scotland; whereas in England, civilisation has been so long complete, that our ideas of our ancestors are only to be gleaned from musty records and chronicles, the authors of which seem perversely to have conspired to suppress in their narratives all interesting details, in order to find room for flowers of monkish eloquence, or trite reflections upon morals.
But he knew that "moral science" was taught secularly at the college; and he felt that where morals were made a department of science the demand for religion must fall off proportionately.