mor·​al·​ist | \ ˈmȯr-ə-list How to pronounce moralist (audio) , ˈmär-\

Definition of moralist

1 : one who leads a moral life
2 : a philosopher or writer concerned with moral principles and problems
3 : one concerned with regulating the morals of others

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Synonyms & Antonyms for moralist


bluenose, Mrs. Grundy, nice nelly, prude, puritan, wowser [chiefly Australian]



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Examples of moralist in a Sentence

a smattering of moralists around the country tried to get the songs banned from the radio

Recent Examples on the Web

Food writers are divided into two major branches, the sensualists and the moralists. Max Watman, WSJ, "‘Buttermilk Graffiti’ Review: What’s Your Order?," 16 Nov. 2018 McCain and cosponsor Russ Feingold, a progressive Democrat representing Wisconsin, had little institutional power and were regarded by their colleagues as moralists, rather than the wheeler-dealers who are presumed to get things done in the Senate. Mark Schmitt, Vox, "John McCain’s signature campaign finance law was a real achievement — for its time," 26 Aug. 2018 Professor Pipes, a moralist shaped by his experiences as a Jew who had fled the Nazi occupation of Poland, would have none of it. New York Times, "Richard Pipes, Historian of Russia and Reagan Aide, Dies at 94," 17 May 2018 For all his hatred of parochial moralizing—a constant theme in his work, whether the preaching came from Jews or gentiles, liberals or conservatives—Roth was himself a kind of moralist. Adam Kirsch, The Atlantic, "Remembering Philip Roth, a Giant of American Literature," 23 May 2018 James Comey, however, stands before us as the most public FBI director since J. Edgar Hoover, also a moralist in his own peculiar way. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "James Comey’s Judgment Days," 2 May 2018 As a war president, Wilson was both moralist and martinet. Richard Norton Smith, WSJ, "‘The Moralist’ Review: The High and Rocky Road," 19 Apr. 2018 Great satirists can’t entirely be moralists, even now, being as the latter contradicts the former. Chris Jones,, "Bye bye Lindsay Lohan. In Tina Fey's 'Mean Girls' on Broadway, the arty geeks take center stage.," 8 Apr. 2018 King became safe and ethereal, registering as a noble moralist. Time Staff, Time, "10 Historians on What People Still Don't Know About Martin Luther King Jr.," 4 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'moralist.' 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 moralist

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of moralist was circa 1586

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English Language Learners Definition of moralist

usually disapproving : a person who has strong feelings and opinions about what is right and who tries to control the moral behavior of other people

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Spanish Central: Translation of moralist

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Comments on moralist

What made you want to look up moralist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that collects or salvages junk

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