Definitions

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

  • adj. Of, relating to, or dealing with ethics.
  • adj. Being in accordance with the accepted principles of right and wrong that govern the conduct of a profession. See Synonyms at moral.
  • adj. Of or relating to a drug dispensed solely on the prescription of a physician.
  • n. An ethical drug.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or relating to the study of ethics.
  • adj. Of or relating to the accepted principles of right and wrong, especially those of some organization or profession.
  • adj. Morally approvable, when referring to an action that affects others; good.
  • adj. Only dispensed on the prescription of a physician.
  • n. An ethical drug.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Relating to morals or the principles of morality; pertaining to right and wrong in the abstract or in conduct; pertaining or relating to ethics.
  • In a special sense, relating to medical ethics or in accord with the code of rules which guides physicians in their relations to one another and to their patients.

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

  • adj. of or relating to the philosophical study of ethics
  • adj. conforming to accepted standards of social or professional behavior
  • adj. adhering to ethical and moral principles

Etymologies

From ethic + -al, from Late Latin ethicus ("moral, ethical"), from Ancient Greek ἠθικός (ēthikos, "of or for morals, moral, expressing character"), from ἦθος (ēthos, "character, moral nature"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Thomas Baldwin was not exaggerating much when he claimed that, “twentieth century British ethical theory is unintelligible without reference to Principia Ethica; its history until 1960 or so being, in brief, that although Moore was taken to have refuted ˜ethical naturalism™, Moore's own brand of ˜ethical non-naturalism™ was thought to make unacceptable metaphysical and epistemological demands; so the only recourse was to abandon belief in an objective moral reality and accept an emotivist, prescriptivist or otherwise anti-realist, account of ethical values.”

    Moral Non-Naturalism

  • We have associated the term ethical with certain special acts which are labeled virtues and are set off from the mass of other acts, and are still more divorced from the habitual images and motives of the children performing them.

    Moral Principles in Education

  • Brigham said there is no specific definition of the term ethical for the rankings.

    Reuters: Top News

  • Rick Perry's campaign demanding Univision "take action to correct" what it calls an "ethical breach."

    GOP Backs Rubio in Univision Clash

  • That is one or the most important principles for judging of what I call the ethical evil of both Capitalism and Communism—for they are both essentially based on waste.

    Fr. McNabb Speaks - Capitalism and Communism/1

  • I have very strong opinions on this point, and hold that what I call the ethical motive for reading is the best of all -- indeed the only true one.

    From a College Window

  • It's not likely the theme will fade before the Aug. 10 primary, however, thanks to the entry in the race of Republican turned American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo and his focus on what he calls ethical lapses on both GOP candidates 'parts.

    Denver Post: News: Breaking: Local

  • It is the only way to fight against what he called ethical impairment, he said.

    Anderson Independent Mail Stories

  • Democratic operatives with direct knowledge of the Adler campaign and CCDC operations spoke to the Courier-Post on condition of anonymity because of what they described as ethical qualms with Adler's campaign.

    A Tea Party Impostor in NJ-03

  • It was interesting because Burchell found the two prime ministers 'appeal to benevolence as unconvincing, aping what he calls the ethical niche market of the clergy who are specialists in' moral reproach '.

    SA Latest News

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