ethical

adjective
eth·​i·​cal | \ ˈe-thi-kəl How to pronounce ethical (audio) \
variants: or less commonly ethic \ ˈe-​thik How to pronounce ethical (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 ethical (audio) \ noun
ethically \ ˈe-​thi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce ethical (audio) \ adverb
ethicalness \ ˈe-​thi-​kəl-​nəs How to pronounce ethical (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 That was an ethical release valve on the FDA’s original recommendation to deny the J&J option, even temporarily, though in practice the alternative isn’t really there for hard-to-reach populations like the homebound. Adam Rogers, Wired, "A Vaccine Can Be Bad for a Person but Awesome for All People," 23 Apr. 2021 But in fact, the recent research is more a step toward an important medical development than an ethical minefield. Sahotra Sarkar, The Conversation, "Lab–grown embryos and human–monkey hybrids: Medical marvels or ethical missteps?," 22 Apr. 2021 The Climate Pledge Friendly program and its participants take over the legwork, serving ethical options up to customers on a silver platter. Patrick Moorhead, Forbes, "Amazon Delivers On Its Sustainability Commitments And Then Some," 21 Apr. 2021 The development of fair and ethical artificial intelligence has become one of the most contentious issues in Silicon Valley. BostonGlobe.com, "Europe proposes strict regulation of artificial intelligence," 21 Apr. 2021 The development of fair and ethical artificial intelligence has become one of the most contentious issues in Silicon Valley. Adam Satariano, New York Times, "Europe Proposes Strict Rules for Artificial Intelligence," 21 Apr. 2021 Anil Dash is a blogger, artist, ethical technologist, and the C.E.O. of Glitch, a site that helps its users create Web applications. The New Yorker, "How Memes Become Money," 20 Apr. 2021 Rather, corporations are also societal citizens that have certain legal, economic and ethical obligations. William Nordhaus, Time, "The Case for Abandoning 'Corporate Responsibility' When We Judge Company Practices," 20 Apr. 2021 Part of calling it the CIA and giving it the fine name of espionage and James Bond and Jack Ryan is to obscure the actual reality, and ethical reality, of what the thing is. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, "‘Blowback’ Podcast Tackles America’s Meddling in the Cuban Revolution," 19 Apr. 2021

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

26 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ethical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ethical. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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 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 ethical (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 ethical (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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Comments on ethical

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