ethical

adjective
eth·​i·​cal | \ ˈe-thi-kəl How to pronounce ethical (audio) \
variants: or less commonly ethic \ ˈe-​thik How to pronounce ethic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce ethicality (audio) \ noun
ethically \ ˈe-​thi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce ethically (audio) \ adverb
ethicalness \ ˈe-​thi-​kəl-​nəs How to pronounce ethicalness (audio) \ 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 This is always true for ethical non-monogamy and many of us are leaning hard on our skills. Gabrielle Smith, SELF, "9 Ways Non-Monogamous People Are Dealing With the Pandemic," 7 Aug. 2020 But a month later, the Health Ministry authorized clinical trials of the Gamaleya product, with what appeared to be another ethical issue. Daria Litvinova, Star Tribune, "Russia's race for virus vaccine raises concerns in the West," 7 Aug. 2020 But a month later, the Health Ministry authorized clinical trials of the Gamaleya product, with what appeared to be another ethical issue. Daria Litvinova, Anchorage Daily News, "Russia’s race for a coronavirus vaccine raises concerns among scientists in the West," 7 Aug. 2020 One of his own recent cases underscores some of the ethical challenges. Ron Winslow, STAT, "How a Zoom forum is changing the way ICU doctors treat desperately ill Covid-19 patients," 6 Aug. 2020 But his suggestion has raised legal and ethical questions about hosting campaign activity on the federal government grounds. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "Biden won't be traveling to Milwaukee for convention - Daily Trail Markers," 5 Aug. 2020 The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes. Dallas News, "Leadership, responsibility and more: what the value of Scouting with the Boy Scouts of America offers for youth," 5 Aug. 2020 She is also known for her attention to detail, excellent communication skills, honesty, as well as being ethical, available to her clients, friendly and outgoing. Rebecca Maitland, Houston Chronicle, "Realtor of the Week: Experience, DNA, and knowledge benefit clients," 4 July 2020 Moral elitism can be used to control others by accusing others of being immoral, unfair or selfish, while seeing oneself as supremely moral and ethical. Scott Barry Kaufman, Scientific American, "Unraveling the Mindset of Victimhood," 29 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for ethical

Time Traveler

The first known use of ethical was circa 1573

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Statistics for ethical

Last Updated

11 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ethical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ethical. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for ethical

ethical

adjective
How to pronounce ethical (audio)

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 How to pronounce ethical (audio) \

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 How to pronounce ethical (audio) \
variants: also ethic \ -​ik How to pronounce ethic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce ethically (audio) \ 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 How to pronounce ethical (audio) \

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

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