mo·ral·i·ty | \ mə-ˈra-lə-tē , 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

Their appeals carry an air of spiritual fervor, with calls to study Marx’s life for pointers on morality. Chun Han Wong, WSJ, "Xi Capitalizes on Marx’s Legacy to Rally China Around Communist Party," 7 May 2018 In October, as part of his defense of Trump’s engagement with Gold Star parents, Kelly lectured journalists on morality. Philip Rucker, Washington Post, "John Kelly’s credibility is at risk after defending aide accused of domestic violence," 8 Feb. 2018 Burke has profound gifts for bracing dialogue, meditations on morality and ethics, and lyrical but tough-minded prose. Adam Woog, The Seattle Times, "Crime fiction: James Lee Burke’s latest brings back deputy ‘Robicheaux’," 14 Jan. 2018 Abolitionists had no difficulty defending the morality of their position, given the horrors of chattel slavery. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Who Would Jesus Lock Up?," 15 June 2018 Janet has never been alive, and is by definition always the best possible version of herself—but according to the morality of The Good Place, there’s always room for further improvement. Laura Bradley, HWD, "How The Good Place Built Janet, TV’s Most Scene-Stealing Not-a-Robot," 4 June 2018 Their might and godliness exist independently of our puny mortal morality. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "How to review your life’s Amazon buying history—and what we learned from our own," 28 May 2018 While Haspel won praise for her expertise after postings in the agency’s clandestine service and counterterrorism center, her background also revived the long-simmering debate over the morality and effectiveness of torture as an interrogation tool. Fortune, "Gina Haspel, Confirmed as CIA Director, Becomes First Woman to Head the Agency," 17 May 2018 Still, there was an underlying concern about his own morality. Alim Kheraj, GQ, "Nakhane Is No Longer Living in Fear," 21 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for morality

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for morality

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

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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 \
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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Comments on morality

What made you want to look up morality? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


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