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

Jon Snow, the show’s closest thing to a protagonist, strikes me as Tony Soprano’s opposite, an earnest moralist, existentially unbothered. Adam Wilson, Harper's magazine, "Good Bad Bad Good," 16 Sep. 2019 The moralist’s dilemma American politics is dominated by people who think about politics professionally, and thus do not think about the world in a particularly normal way. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The controversy over Bernie Sanders’s low-paid field staffers, explained," 20 July 2019 Although many Jews did indeed participate in the new economy, Jewish and Christian financial activities were not distinct, a fact of which Christian moralists were all too aware and that they were determined to change. Sara Lipton, The New York Review of Books, "A Terribly Durable Myth," 17 June 2019 According to Will, Carter was an incompetent moralist, and Reagan a friend who won the Cold War but was nevertheless incapable of restraining the appetites of voters for big government. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "The Conservative Sensibility Is George Will’s Definitive Declaration," 20 June 2019 In order to shame churchmen and laypeople alike into being less focused on wealth and luxury, moralists mobilized all the rhetorical weapons at their disposal. Sara Lipton, The New York Review of Books, "A Terribly Durable Myth," 17 June 2019 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

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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Statistics for moralist

Last Updated

25 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for moralist

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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More from Merriam-Webster on moralist

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Spanish Central: Translation of moralist

Nglish: Translation of moralist for Spanish Speakers

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).


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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