categorical imperative


: a moral obligation or command that is unconditionally and universally binding

Examples of categorical imperative in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But the categorical imperative of politics—governing—generally prevailed. Gerard Baker, WSJ, 9 Jan. 2023 But Be Here Now is a case study in the categorical imperative of rocking. Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone, 21 Aug. 2022 Kant introduced the world to the theory of the categorical imperative; Larry, the chat-and-cut. Meredith Blake,, 29 Sep. 2017 Kant introduced the world to the theory of the categorical imperative Meredith Blake,, 29 Sep. 2017 The Golden Rule, the categorical imperative — all of these moral notions will fall by the wayside. Ben Shapiro, National Review, 20 Sep. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'categorical imperative.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1827, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of categorical imperative was in 1827

Dictionary Entries Near categorical imperative

Cite this Entry

“Categorical imperative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

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