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

Mr Haidt divides political morality into pairs of opposing instincts: loyalty and betrayal, authority and subversion, liberty and oppression, sanctity and degradation, care and harm, fairness and cheating. The Economist, "The L wordWho is a Democrat?," 12 July 2018 The trolley question is meant to emblematize tough decision-making for the purpose of moral deliberation; programming morality into our vehicles is a matter of deeper, almost mystical complexity. Betsy Morais, Longreads, "The Menace and the Promise of Autonomous Vehicles," 13 June 2018 Authorities forced him to sign a pledge not to convene the remaining events or face prosecution for promoting debauchery and violating public morality. Washington Post, "Lebanon LGBT scene empowered despite crackdown," 29 May 2018 The team also had to ponder how to measure morality in hell when standards of right and wrong change with the times. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "The subtweets of the damned," 27 Mar. 2018 The nation has to demonstrate efficiency in spending to raise tax morality, Nene said. Arabile Gumede,, "South Africa to Raise GDP Growth Forecasts in October, Nene Says," 5 Mar. 2018 This sentiment ultimately comes back to whether should the public look to their favorite artists for morality. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "6 Things We Learned From Kanye West's 'New York Times' Interview," 25 June 2018 The narrative is richly poetic and smartly suspenseful, with themes of sacrifice, loyalty, and morality. 2. Staff, The Christian Science Monitor, "10 best books of June: the Monitor's picks," 14 June 2018 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

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

11 Oct 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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