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

The 61-year-old Democrat served nine years as mayor, the last three darkened by a public investigation into ethical lapses and conflicts of interest. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, "A decade after his corruption scandal broke, Hartford weighs a second chance for Eddie Perez," 17 June 2019 Travelers are increasingly recognizing that many animal tourist attractions may not be ethical. Natasha Daly, National Geographic, "What I learned investigating the wildlife tourism industry," 23 May 2019 Explore how new technologies — and new ethical concerns — may reshape the way our species reproduces. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, "The Future of Fertility," 16 May 2019 Standing up for women’s rights is not only ethical. Ilyse Hogue, Glamour, "Attention Corporate America, Women Need to Know That You Support Their Reproductive Rights," 23 Apr. 2019 Besides regulating consumer products, FDA protects subjects in clinical trials by reviewing informed consent and other ethical practices. Charles Piller, Science | AAAS, "Exclusive: FDA enforcement actions plummet under Trump," 2 July 2019 As these machines increasingly become part of domestic life, those relationships usher in ethical questions: Are those bonds healthy? Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "The Second Coming of the Robot Pet," 1 July 2019 The central ethical question that has emerged is what role a company like Wayfair can play in this ongoing crisis. Tanya Edwards, refinery29.com, "Inside Wayfair Employees' Protest Of The Company's Business With Migrant Detention Centers," 30 June 2019 If non-white academics are to feel truly valued and supported then a series of structural, intellectual, and ethical obligations, must be implemented in higher education to ensure advancement and inclusion for all. Katy Sian, Quartz, "“Liberal racism” continues to plague Britain’s universities," 27 June 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

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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