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 occurs when nurses don't have the staff, supplies, knowledge or access to other professionals to fulfill ethical or professional responsibilities. Karen J. Foli, CNN, "Nurses are struggling with trauma. But they were suffering long before Covid-19 hit," 9 July 2020 The regulator also is asking professional services firms to be more transparent about their audit businesses and for audit professionals to demonstrate ethical behavior and professional skepticism while conducting their work. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "U.K. Regulator Orders Big Four to Separate Audit Practices by 2024," 6 July 2020 But, despite such concerns, sports have often been a forum for ethical disputes, a space to probe the concepts of integrity and social responsibility. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "Washington’s NFL team finds morality when its bottom line is threatened," 13 July 2020 In April, Martinez received a reprimand for ethical misconduct in three capital murder cases. Lauren Castle, The Arizona Republic, "Man convicted of killing Glendale police officer no longer faces death penalty," 10 July 2020 This job of noblesse oblige raises a host of uncomfortable ethical conundrums, but Peter, in typical fashion, squares them away by showing his self-awareness. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, "The Shallowness of the Self-Aware Novelist," 9 July 2020 Another independent review will be conducted by Verisio and Bureau Veritas, specialists in ethical audits and compliance. Eliza Huber, refinery29.com, "Boohoo Launches Supply Chain Review Following Exploitation Claims," 9 July 2020 Prior to the pandemic, nurses faced ethical and personal safety dilemmas during disasters and other emergencies. Karen J. Foli, CNN, "Nurses are struggling with trauma. But they were suffering long before Covid-19 hit," 9 July 2020 There is no legal or ethical rule preventing candidates or sitting lawmakers from benefiting from the PPP loans. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "Democratic candidates benefit from PPP loans they criticized," 8 July 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

30 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ethical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ethical. Accessed 8 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

Comments on ethical

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