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 Those funds often come with complex ethical questions, though. BostonGlobe.com, "At MIT, a new name fuels fury - The Boston Globe," 25 Nov. 2019 The groundbreaking operation also forced doctors to contend with complex ethical questions. Author: Antonia Noori Farzan, Anchorage Daily News, "Veteran wounded in Afghanistan ‘feeling whole’ after breakthrough penis and scrotum transplant," 7 Nov. 2019 However, as the technology has advanced, doctors, scientists, and bioethicists have also raised ethical questions. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "New gene editing technology could correct 89% of genetic defects," 22 Oct. 2019 The field as a whole should pause and discuss the medical, scientific, legal, ethical, philosophical and political questions of such research with all stakeholders. Christof Koch, Scientific American, "Is Death Reversible?," 11 Oct. 2019 Editor’s note: This piece is part of our series on ethical questions arising from everyday life. G. James Lemoine, The Conversation, "What’s so wrong about lying in a job interview," 7 Oct. 2019 The prospect of a 2-year-old startup building and distributing a new class of potentially lethal weapons will undoubtedly raise ethical questions, especially amid a larger backlash against overreach by tech companies. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Secretive Defense Tech Startup Anduril Is Building Weapons: Term Sheet," 4 Oct. 2019 Congressional investigators had raised ethical questions before about Mr. Collins’s relationship to Innate. Vivian Wang, New York Times, "Ex-Rep. Chris Collins Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading Charges," 1 Oct. 2019 The movie raises interesting ethical questions about the contemporary monarchy. Kate Samuelson, Time, "Old Friendships, New Costumes and Timeless Royal Fever on the Set of the Downton Abbey Movie," 20 Sep. 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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Time Traveler for ethical

Time Traveler

The first known use of ethical was circa 1573

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Statistics for ethical

Last Updated

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Ethical.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ethical?show=0&t=1302815446. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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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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