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 Utilitarianism, which focuses on the consequences of an action, is typically opposed to deontology, which says morality is determined by the act itself. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "Ethicists agree on who gets treated first when hospitals are overwhelmed by coronavirus," 19 Mar. 2020 Iranian scholars debate the book’s Zoroastrian and Islamic elements; Melville, some argue, believed fate trumped morality as the ancient Sasanians did. The Economist, "Born 200 years ago, Herman Melville was globalisation’s first great bard," 18 July 2019 Westminster has replaced morality with efficiency, reason with self-interest and a focus on the public good with one on consumer welfare. Crispin Hunt, Billboard, "A Semi-Famous Musician Runs For Office in Brussels (Guest Column)," 17 May 2019 Until leaders within the city’s problematic pockets personify responsibility, accountability and morality, there is little basis for expecting a reduction of violence within their communities. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: The biggest myth about the Bill of Rights," 14 Nov. 2019 From Our Eyes by Julia Spencer-Fleming Julia Spencer-Fleming returns to Miller’s Kill, New York, for her latest exploration of life, murder, and morality. Monitor Reviewers, The Christian Science Monitor, "Stay inside with the 10 best books of April," 17 Apr. 2020 Kim's objections have nothing to do with legality, or morality. Kat Rosenfield,, "Better Call Saul recap: Lawyer-ence of Arabia," 7 Apr. 2020 But far more integral to your presidency is something else: the Constitution’s political morality. Linda Greenhouse, The New York Review of Books, "The Impeachment Question," 30 May 2019 Most of the adults-only theaters and bookstores that once incensed morality-minded residents have since closed. Katie Shepherd,, "Last erotic theater closes in Portland, Ore., where ‘porn palaces’ once transformed city," 7 Mar. 2020

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

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Morality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for morality


How to pronounce morality (audio)

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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