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

That should be a large enough ethical problem to block the work. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Reports out of China suggest first human gene-edited babies have been born," 26 Nov. 2018 In her op-ed for the New York Times, Recode Editor at Large Kara Swisher considers the complex ethical problems the tech industry faces and wonders if the solution is for companies to hire a chief ethics officer. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: The Khashoggi crisis exposed an online intimidation campaign ordered by the Saudi Crown Prince," 22 Oct. 2018 The tragedy is not just that Manne is right, but that pointing out the obvious moral and ethical sinkholes in Peterson’s grab-bag of resentful bromides should merit a two-page review by one of the greatest feminist philosophers of her generation. Laurie Penny, Longreads, "Peterson’s Complaint," 12 July 2018 Relying on reports from former security officers and an electronics technician, Bloomberg paints Tesla CEO Elon Musk as willing to go beyond ethical and legal limits to stifle leakers. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "New Report Claims Tesla Engaged in Lies, Threats to Stop Leaks," 13 Mar. 2019 The news is the latest in a series of actions by Pruitt that have raised questions over his ethical judgment as EPA chief. Clare Foran, CNN, "Emails: Pruitt used EPA aide to inquire about Chick-fil-A business opportunity," 5 June 2018 The production process is ethical and environmentally sustainable, aligning with Parachute's notable brand ethos of authenticity and social responsibility. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Parachute Launches New Collection of Cozy, Handwoven Area Rugs," 7 Mar. 2019 But freedom of expression doesn’t always exist in a vacuum, absent of any other ethical obligations. Mari Uyehara, GQ, "How Free Speech Warriors Mainstreamed White Supremacists," 8 May 2018 Sources also discussed Meghan's decision to use her fashion choices to promote issues that matter to her, like sustainability and ethical production. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Turns to Kate Middleton for Style Advice," 8 Mar. 2019

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

26 May 2019

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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 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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