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adjective eth·i·cal \ˈe-thi-kəl\

Simple Definition of ethical

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

  • : following accepted rules of behavior : morally right and good

Full Definition of ethical

  1. 1 :  of or relating to ethics <ethical theories>

  2. 2 :  involving or expressing moral approval or disapproval <ethical judgments>

  3. 3 :  conforming to accepted standards of conduct <ethical behavior>

  4. 4 of a drug :  restricted to sale only on a doctor's prescription

eth·i·cal·i·ty play \ˌe-thə-ˈka-lə-tē\ noun
eth·i·cal·ly play \ˈe-thi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
eth·i·cal·ness play \-kəl-nəs\ noun

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>

Variants of ethical

also eth·ic play \-thik\

Origin of ethical

Middle English etik, from Latin ethicus, from Greek ēthikos, from ēthos character — more at sib

First Known Use: 1588

Synonym Discussion of ethical

moral, ethical, virtuous, righteous, noble mean conforming to a standard of what is right and good. moral implies conformity to established sanctioned codes or accepted notions of right and wrong <the basic moral values of a community>. ethical may suggest the involvement of more difficult or subtle questions of rightness, fairness, or equity <committed to the highest ethical principles>. virtuous implies moral excellence in character <not a religious person, but virtuous nevertheless>. righteous stresses guiltlessness or blamelessness and often suggests the sanctimonious <wished to be righteous before God and the world>. noble implies moral eminence and freedom from anything petty, mean, or dubious in conduct and character <had the noblest of reasons for seeking office>.

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February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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