ethical

adjective eth·i·cal \ ˈe-thi-kəl \
variants: or less commonly ethic play \ˈe-thik\
Updated on: 5 Dec 2017

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

ethicality

play \ˌe-thə-ˈka-lə-tē\ noun

ethically

play \ˈe-thi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

ethicalness

play \ˈe-thi-kəl-nəs\ noun

Examples of ethical in a Sentence

  1. Some doctors feel that this procedure is not medically ethical.

  2. the ethical behavior expected of every member of the police force

Recent Examples of ethical from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of ethical

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

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

ETHICAL Defined for English Language Learners

ethical

adjective

Definition of ethical for English Language Learners

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

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


ETHICAL Defined for Kids

ethical

adjective eth·i·cal \ ˈe-thi-kəl \

Definition of ethical for Students

1 : involving questions of right and wrong : relating to ethics
  • ethical issues
2 : following accepted rules of behavior
  • We expect ethical treatment of animals.

Medical Dictionary

1

ethical

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

medical Definition of ethical

1 : conforming to accepted professional standards of conduct
2 of a drug : restricted to sale only on a doctor's prescription

ethically

play \ˈeth-i-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

2

ethical

noun

medical Definition of ethical

: an ethical drug

Law Dictionary

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

ethically

adverb


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