Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct.
  • n. A system of ideas of right and wrong conduct: religious morality; Christian morality.
  • n. Virtuous conduct.
  • n. A rule or lesson in moral conduct.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Recognition of the distinction between good and evil or between right and wrong; respect for and obedience to the rules of right conduct; the mental disposition or characteristic of behaving in a manner intended to produce morally good results.
  • n. A set of social rules, customs, traditions, beliefs, or practices which specify proper, acceptable forms of conduct.
  • n. A set of personal guiding principles for conduct or a general notion of how to behave, whether respectable or not.
  • n. A lesson or pronouncement which contains advice about proper behavior.
  • n. Moral philosophy, the branch of philosophy which studies the grounds and nature of rightness, wrongness, good, and evil.
  • n. A particular theory concerning the grounds and nature of rightness, wrongness, good, and evil.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The relation of conformity or nonconformity to the moral standard or rule; quality of an intention, a character, an action, a principle, or a sentiment, when tried by the standard of right.
  • n. The quality of an action which renders it good; the conformity of an act to the accepted standard of right.
  • n. The doctrines or rules of moral duties, or the duties of men in their social character; ethics.
  • n. The practice of the moral duties; rectitude of life; conformity to the standard of right; virtue.
  • n. A kind of allegorical play, so termed because it consisted of discourses in praise of morality between actors representing such characters as Charity, Faith, Death, Vice, etc. Such plays were occasionally exhibited as late as the reign of Henry VIII.
  • n. Intent; meaning; moral.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The doctrine or system of duties; morals; ethics.
  • n. The character of being moral; accord with the rules of right conduct; moral quality; virtuousness: often used in a restricted sense to denote sexual purity.
  • n. Moral conduct; the practice of the duties inculcated by the moral rules that are recognized as valid; in a general and collective sense, those forms of human conduct which are the subject of moral judgments.
  • n. Hence The practice of moral duties regarded as apart from and as not based upon vital religious principle.
  • n. A moral inference or reflection; a moralization; intent; meaning; moral.
  • n. A kind of drama which succeeded the miracle-plays or mysteries, and in which the persons of the play were abstractions, or allegorical representations of virtues, vices, and mental powers and faculties.
  • n. =Syn. 1-3. Morality, Morals, Manners, Virtue, Ethics. Morality (or morals) and manners stand over against each other as respectively conforming to right or propriety in the great duties and iu the minor forms of action and intercourse. Morality is often popularly applied to conformity to right in that particular in which right conduct is most felt to be important, as chastity or honesty. Virtue is morality of the fullest type and regarded as a part of personal character. Ethics is the technical, as morals is the popular, name for the science of virtue.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. concern with the distinction between good and evil or right and wrong; right or good conduct
  • n. motivation based on ideas of right and wrong

Etymologies

From Anglo-Norman moralité, Middle French moralité, from Late Latin moralitas ("manner, characteristic, character"), from Latin mōrālis ("relating to manners or morals"), from mos ("manner, custom"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • See faggot word page and faggot comments.

    January 10, 2010

  • i reviewed the meaning of morality and ethics after catching myself using both words in a conversation. suggestion #1: develop a forum to compare words with similar meanings. #2 develop a section for interesting/unusual phrasing. #3 we need new words for established things that have dated,dumb sounding words now:queer,homosexual,faggot. i note your software has faggot as a misspelling...are you kidding me?
    by the way, the noun/adjective lesbian needs no alteration to be contempo. oops, another misspelling. perhaps wordnik needs to become more contempo. regards, lallo skookum.

    January 10, 2010