de·​on·​tol·​o·​gy | \ ˌdē-ˌän-ˈtä-lə-jē How to pronounce deontology (audio) \

Definition of deontology

: the theory or study of moral obligation

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Other Words from deontology

deontological \ ˌdē-​ˌän-​tə-​ˈlä-​ji-​kəl How to pronounce deontology (audio) \ adjective
deontologist \ ˌdē-​ˌän-​ˈtä-​lə-​jist How to pronounce deontology (audio) \ noun

Examples of deontology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Utilitarianism, which focuses on the consequences of an action, is typically opposed to deontology, which says morality is determined by the act itself. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, 19 Mar. 2020 In essence, deontology explains that lying is always wrong because if everyone lied, human communications would break down entirely. 2. G. James Lemoine, The Conversation, 7 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deontology.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of deontology

1826, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of deontology was in 1826

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Cite this Entry

“Deontology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for deontology


de·​on·​tol·​o·​gy | \ ˌdē-ˌän-ˈtäl-ə-jē How to pronounce deontology (audio) \
plural deontologies

Medical Definition of deontology

: the theory or study of moral obligation

Other Words from deontology

deontological \ ˌdē-​ˌänt-​ᵊl-​ˈäj-​i-​kəl How to pronounce deontology (audio) \ adjective
deontologist \ ˌdē-​ˌän-​ˈtäl-​ə-​jəst How to pronounce deontology (audio) \ noun


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