mor·​al·​is·​tic ˌmȯr-ə-ˈli-stik How to pronounce moralistic (audio)
: characterized by or expressive of a concern with morality
: characterized by or expressive of a narrow moral attitude
moralistically adverb

Examples of moralistic in a Sentence

While a moralistic speech won't convince kids not to try drugs, a story about people affected by drugs might. parental opinion was divided on the school's moralistic curriculum
Recent Examples on the Web And the language in the official recall petition strikes a moralistic tone. Hailey Branson-Potts, Los Angeles Times, 10 Apr. 2024 Blowups at literary journals are not the most pressing news of the day, but the incident at Guernica reveals the extent to which elite American literary outlets may now be beholden to the narrowest polemical and moralistic approaches to literature. Phil Klay, The Atlantic, 12 Mar. 2024 Instead of the dour, moralistic tales that were considered appropriate nursery fare at the time, Dodgson served up absurdist takes on Victorian England’s polite tea parties, its eccentric dons, its gossipy news stories, its popular poems, songs, dances, and parlor games. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, 28 Feb. 2024 What begins as an intriguing visit to a forbidding but fascinating past becomes the kind of perfunctorily moralistic fairy tale that Kahlen himself might scoff at, before getting back to work. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 31 Jan. 2024 Prudes are going to be prudish, so no point in trying to appease them in a show that’s all about the havoc that’s wrought when human biology is denied by moralistic zealots. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2023 Much of what preceded in drug rap was either a moralistic cautionary tale or lavishly materialistic. Abe Beame, Vulture, 23 Aug. 2023 Without being too heavy handed in any moralistic messaging, McAnuff hopes the audience sees what the intent of the work has been since the beginning. Julia Jacobs, New York Times, 12 July 2023 Noah Rothman is an unsparing critic of what passes for social justice, woolly thinking, and the habits of shoddy moralistic cliques, everywhere. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 7 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'moralistic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of moralistic was in 1845

Dictionary Entries Near moralistic

Cite this Entry

“Moralistic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


mor·​al·​is·​tic ˌmȯr-ə-ˈlis-tik How to pronounce moralistic (audio)
: teaching or pointing out morals
a moralistic story
: having or expressing a conservative moral attitude
a moralistic attitude toward the problems of youth

More from Merriam-Webster on moralistic

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