from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct.
- noun A system or collection of ideas of right and wrong conduct.
- noun Virtuous conduct.
- noun A rule or lesson in moral conduct.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun The doctrine or system of duties; morals; ethics.
- noun 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.
- noun 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.
- noun Hence The practice of moral duties regarded as apart from and as not based upon vital religious principle.
- noun A moral inference or reflection; a moralization; intent; meaning; moral.
- noun 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.
- noun =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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun 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.
- noun The quality of an action which renders it good; the conformity of an act to the accepted standard of right.
- noun The doctrines or rules of moral duties, or the duties of men in their social character; ethics.
- noun The practice of the moral duties; rectitude of life; conformity to the standard of right; virtue.
- noun 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.
- noun obsolete Intent; meaning; moral.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun uncountable
Recognitionof the distinctionbetween goodand evilor between rightand wrong; respectfor and obedienceto the rulesof right conduct; the mental dispositionor characteristic of behavingin a manner intendedto produce morally good results.
- noun countable A set of
socialrules, customs, traditions, beliefs, or practiceswhich specify proper, acceptableforms of conduct.
- noun countable A set of personal
guiding principlesfor conduct or a general notionof how to behave, whether respectableor not.
- noun countable, archaic A
lessonor pronouncementwhich contains adviceabout proper behavior.
- noun uncountable, rare
Moral philosophy, the branch of philosophywhich studies the groundsand nature of rightness, wrongness, good, and evil.
- noun countable, rare A particular
theoryconcerning the grounds and nature of rightness, wrongness, good, and evil.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun concern with the distinction between good and evil or right and wrong; right or good conduct
- noun motivation based on ideas of right and wrong
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
But altogether outside theoretical morality, or the question of what people "ought" to do, there remains _practical morality_, or the question of what, as a matter of fact, people actually do.
The morality with which ethical treatises are concerned is _theoretical morality_.
The essential difference, as it appears to me as a student of the history of religion, is this, that whereas the connection between religion and morality has so far been a loose one, -- at Rome, indeed, so loose, that many have refused to believe in its existence, -- the _new religion was itself morality_,  but morality consecrated and raised to a higher power than it had ever yet reached.
; _Sex in Relation to Society_ (Philadelphia, 1910, p. 368); "But altogether outside theoretical morality, or the question of what people 'ought' to do, there remains _practical morality_, or the question of what, as a matter of fact, people actually do.
Shaftesbury was impelled to write in his journal: -- "Professor Huxley has this definition of morality and religion: 'Teach a child what is wise: that is _morality_.
Your belief in morality is a construct of evolution.
Your belief in morality is a construct of evolution.
(Another great moment in morality from the Reagan Administration!)
If, however, we include in the term morality the transitory display of certain qualities such as abnegation, self-sacrifice, disinterestedness, devotion, and the need of equity, we may say, on the contrary, that crowds may exhibit at times a very lofty morality.
The term morality is by no means exclusive to religion.