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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The morality piece is deeply personal and driven by faith — something the government should not have a say in, Schafer says. Jozsef Papp, ajc, 6 May 2022 Probably, but the tradeoff would be greater stability, predictability, and public morality. Erik Sherman, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 This morality has brought trouble to public figures such as Gerhard Schröder, the former German chancellor who’s a close friend of Mr. Putin’s. Lenora Chu, The Christian Science Monitor, 28 Apr. 2022 Bantering back and forth on a joint Zoom call with EW, the two actors alternate between waxing rhapsodic about history and morality and cracking wise at every opportunity. Tyler Aquilina,, 24 Apr. 2022 Appiah’s larger point is that calls to reason or morality are not typically what make the difference; instead, a society’s sense of what counts as honorable behavior has to flip. Gal Beckerman, The Atlantic, 19 Apr. 2022 Liberated from fear by the inevitability of his own death, Walter breaks loose from the emasculating shackles of conventional morality and is finally able to live free and die. Aaron Bady, The New Yorker, 18 Apr. 2022 But whether the plan is truly workable, in the eyes of the British government or others, may ultimately depend less on laws or morality than on what the British public will tolerate. New York Times, 17 Apr. 2022 The perception of putting singular business objectives above morality is subject to widespread criticism on topics that companies rarely used to think about–and never commented upon. Laurie Hays, Fortune, 23 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of morality

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

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

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morality play

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Morality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for morality


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on morality

Nglish: Translation of morality for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of morality for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about morality


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