adjective eth·i·cal \ˈe-thi-kəl\

: involving questions of right and wrong behavior : relating to ethics

: following accepted rules of behavior : morally right and good

Full Definition of ETHICAL

:  of or relating to ethics <ethical theories>
:  involving or expressing moral approval or disapproval <ethical judgments>
:  conforming to accepted standards of conduct <ethical behavior>
of a drug :  restricted to sale only on a doctor's prescription
eth·i·cal·i·ty \ˌe-thə-ˈka-lə-tē\ noun
eth·i·cal·ly \ˈe-thi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
eth·i·cal·ness \-kəl-nəs\ noun

Variants of ETHICAL

eth·i·cal also eth·ic \-thik\

Examples of ETHICAL

  1. Some doctors feel that this procedure is not medically ethical.
  2. <the ethical behavior expected of every member of the police force>

Origin of ETHICAL

Middle English etik, from Latin ethicus, from Greek ēthikos, from ēthos character — more at sib
First Known Use: 1588

Other Philosophy Terms

dialectic, dualism, epistemology, existentialism, metaphysics, ontology, sequitur, solipsism, transcendentalism


Next Word in the Dictionary: ethical dativePrevious Word in the Dictionary: ethicAll Words Near: ethical
May 23, 2015
debouch Hear it
to emerge or cause to emerge
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears