mo·​ral·​i·​ty | \ mə-ˈra-lə-tē How to pronounce morality (audio) , mȯ- \
plural moralities

Definition of morality

1a : a moral discourse, statement, or lesson ended his lecture with a trite morality
b : a literary or other imaginative work teaching a moral lesson "Aesop's Fables" is famous as a morality.
2a : a doctrine or system of moral conduct the basic law which an adequate morality ought to state— Marjorie Grene
b moralities plural : particular moral principles or rules of conduct we were all brought up on one of these moralitiesPsychiatry
3 : conformity to ideals of right human conduct admitted the expediency of the law but questioned its morality
4 : moral conduct : virtue morality today involves a responsible relationship toward the laws of the natural world— P. B. Sears

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Examples of morality in a Sentence

The group is calling for a return to traditional morality. two groups with clashing moralities The decision may be legally justified, but I question its morality.
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Recent Examples on the Web During a deposition, Apple questioned Wang about the morality of selling exploits to governments, according to court records. Author: Ellen Nakashima, Reed Albergotti, Anchorage Daily News, "To unlock a terrorist’s iPhone after Apple refused, the FBI turned to an obscure company in Australia," 14 Apr. 2021 During a deposition, Apple questioned Wang about the morality of selling exploits to governments, according to court records. Washington Post, "The FBI wanted to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone. It turned to a little-known Australian firm.," 14 Apr. 2021 The tweet immediately sparked backlash regarding the morality of rehoming a pet. Danielle Campoamor,, "Can Andrew Yang Tweet His Way To Being NYC Mayor?," 12 Apr. 2021 Rather, what effectiveness the film has comes from the personal drama of its characters weighing the morality of actions taken during wartime, and wrestling with the act of killing, even in that circumstance. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, "Review: The soldiers in ‘Recon’ gab their way through a dangerous mission," 10 Nov. 2020 Fenn blogged about being a fighter pilot in the Vietnam War and, in sharing one anecdote, questioned the morality of those who orchestrated the conflict. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Forrest Fenn, who sent explorers on a famed Rocky Mountain treasure hunt, dies at 90," 9 Sep. 2020 And many rank-and-file progressive thinkers have increasingly questioned the basic morality of having children. Nate Hochman, National Review, "Toward a Conservative Environmentalism," 3 Sep. 2020 Meanwhile, companies are grappling with the morality of their advertising practices in unprecedentedly public ways. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "She Helped Wreck the News Business. Here’s Her Plan to Fix It," 13 Aug. 2020 Immigration, Carlson insists, isn’t about morality or even the economy. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "No One Is Going to Stop Tucker Carlson," 14 Apr. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for morality

Time Traveler

The first known use of morality was in the 14th century

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Statistics for morality

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Morality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for morality



English Language Learners Definition of morality

: beliefs about what is right behavior and what is wrong behavior
: the degree to which something is right and good : the moral goodness or badness of something


mo·​ral·​i·​ty | \ mə-ˈra-lə-tē How to pronounce morality (audio) \
plural moralities

Kids Definition of morality

1 : the quality or fact of being in agreement with ideals of right behavior We discussed the morality of lying so a person's feelings aren't hurt.
2 : beliefs about what kind of behavior is good or bad A society's morality may change.

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