Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

ethic

play
noun eth·ic \ˈe-thik\

Simple Definition of ethic

  • : rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good and bad

  • ethics : an area of study that deals with ideas about what is good and bad behavior : a branch of philosophy dealing with what is morally right or wrong

  • : a belief that something is very important

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of ethic

  1. 1 plural but sing or plural in constr :  the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation

  2. 2 a :  a set of moral principles :  a theory or system of moral values <the present-day materialistic ethic> <an old-fashioned work ethic> —often used in plural but singular or plural in construction <an elaborate ethics> <Christian ethics> b plural but sing or plural in constr :  the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group <professional ethics> c :  a guiding philosophy d :  a consciousness of moral importance <forge a conservation ethic>

  3. 3 plural :  a set of moral issues or aspects (as rightness) <debated the ethics of human cloning>

Examples of ethic in a sentence

  1. Ethics is his chosen field of study.



Origin and Etymology of ethic

Middle English ethik, from Middle French ethique, from Latin ethice, from Greek ēthikē, from ēthikos


First Known Use: 14th century



Learn More about ethic


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up ethic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to proceed clumsily or ineffectually

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

interruption rebellion megillah torrent
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ