mo·​ral·​i·​ty mə-ˈra-lə-tē How to pronounce morality (audio)
plural moralities
: a moral discourse, statement, or lesson
ended his lecture with a trite morality
: a literary or other imaginative work teaching a moral lesson
"Aesop's Fables" is famous as a morality.
: a doctrine or system of moral conduct
the basic law which an adequate morality ought to stateMarjorie Grene
moralities plural : particular moral principles or rules of conduct
we were all brought up on one of these moralitiesPsychiatry
: conformity to ideals of right human conduct
admitted the expediency of the law but questioned its morality
: moral conduct : virtue
morality today involves a responsible relationship toward the laws of the natural worldP. 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 of the war is explored only elliptically. Chris Klimek, Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2024 This places focus on the things of morality more so than the things of basic humanity. Charlotte Observer, 8 Feb. 2024 The ideals of dignity, morality, and honesty are what keep us invested in stories told in popular culture. Christian Schneider, National Review, 25 Jan. 2024 White, in addition, carries symbolic connotations of integrity and morality. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 16 Jan. 2024 The idea that a project could be derailed by an actor breaking a morality clause, and that accusations of doing so could lead to fatal consequences, could give Hollywood studios pause before doing further business with Korea. Rebecca Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Jan. 2024 To them, and him, survival was not a matter of will but of brute chance and a series of impossible choices that could not fit within conventional morality. Clay Risen, New York Times, 1 Feb. 2024 There is much that Oppenheimer expresses—about science, violence, murder, morality; about the very fate of all eight billion of us. Jeffrey Kluger, TIME, 29 Jan. 2024 No, that was an outgrowth of the prudish GOP of the era, which sought to impose its hidebound morality on America’s first Boomer president. Noah Rothman, National Review, 4 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'morality.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near morality

Cite this Entry

“Morality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


mo·​ral·​i·​ty mə-ˈral-ət-ē How to pronounce morality (audio)
plural moralities
: moral quality : virtue
judge the morality of an action
: a system of moral rules

More from Merriam-Webster on morality

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