ethical

adjective
eth·​i·​cal | \ˈe-thi-kəl \
variants: or less commonly ethic \ˈe-​thik \

Definition of ethical 

1 : of or relating to ethics ethical theories

2 : involving or expressing moral approval or disapproval ethical judgments

3 : conforming to accepted standards of conduct ethical behavior

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

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Other Words from ethical

ethicality \ˌe-​thə-​ˈka-​lə-​tē \ noun
ethically \ˈe-​thi-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb
ethicalness \ˈe-​thi-​kəl-​nəs \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of ethical in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Stella McCartney’s ecological, ethical, and sustainable credentials will likely also appeal to Eugenie, who aspires to live a plastic-free life. Tamara Abraham, Harper's BAZAAR, "Erdem Is Not Designing Princess Eugenie's Wedding Dress," 4 Oct. 2018 Interim Michigan State University President John Engler plans to hire a chief compliance officer to make sure MSU follows legal and ethical regulations. Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press, "Rochelle Riley: John Engler is all wrong for Michigan State," 2 July 2018 And as Gucci recently announced its decision to go fur-free, the activist angle tracks: portraying farm animals as adorable creatures worth cuddling is an implicit argument against animal cruelty, and for ethical, sustainable meat-eating. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "Are Pigs the New It Pet? Ariana Grande and Gucci’s Alessandro Michele Say Yes," 28 Sep. 2018 Share your thoughts on philosophical, ethical or theological topics. Freely exchange ideas and experiences. Mary Lou Cruz, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Coral Springs area events July 18-28," 13 July 2018 Pharmaceutical companies have resisted the use of their drugs in executions for 10 years, citing legal and ethical concerns. Author: Ken Ritter, Michelle L. Price, Anchorage Daily News, "Execution blocked after company objects to use of its drug," 12 July 2018 Pharmaceutical companies have resisted the use of their drugs in executions for 10 years, citing legal and ethical concerns. Ken Ritter And Michelle L. Price, Time, "Nevada Delays Its First Execution in 12 Years After a Drug Company Objects," 12 July 2018 Pharmaceutical companies have resisted the use of their drugs in executions for 10 years, citing both legal and ethical concerns. Ken Ritter, USA TODAY, "Nevada execution in doubt after pharmaceutical company lawsuit," 11 July 2018 That title clearly belonged to Scott Pruitt, who stepped down Thursday as head of the Environmental Protection Agency amid multiple probes into legal and ethical issues. David Lazarus, latimes.com, "Trump's FTC consumer chief may be single most conflicted member of his administration," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ethical.' 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 ethical

circa 1573, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ethical

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

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Statistics for ethical

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ethical

The first known use of ethical was circa 1573

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More Definitions for ethical

ethical

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of ethical

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

: following accepted rules of behavior : morally right and good

ethical

adjective
eth·​i·​cal | \ˈe-thi-kəl \

Kids Definition of ethical

1 : involving questions of right and wrong : relating to ethics ethical issues

2 : following accepted rules of behavior We expect ethical treatment of animals.

ethical

adjective
eth·​i·​cal | \ˈeth-i-kəl \
variants: also ethic \-​ik \

Medical Definition of ethical 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : conforming to accepted professional standards of conduct

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

Other Words from ethical

ethically \ˈeth-​i-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

ethical

noun

Medical Definition of ethical (Entry 2 of 2)

: an ethical drug

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ethical

adjective
eth·​i·​cal | \ˈe-thi-kəl \

Legal Definition of ethical 

1 : of or relating to ethics

2 : conforming to accepted professional standards of conduct

Other Words from ethical

ethically adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on ethical

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ethical

Spanish Central: Translation of ethical

Nglish: Translation of ethical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ethical for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ethical

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