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 Capra’s post–Depression era movie, even in its black-and-white morality, reminds us that, in crisis, the majority has limited liquidity and cash. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "The Logic of Pottersville," 24 Mar. 2020 But to question the morality of any of this would just be making a fuss over nothing. Ayşegül Savaş, Longreads, "In Defense of Boris the Russki," 22 Jan. 2020 His morality is based on the apad dharma or the moral code during the time of crisis. Anand Neelakanthan, Quartz India, "Who exactly was Chanakya, the ancient genius that wily Indian politicians are being compared with?," 20 Dec. 2019 The book is an unsparing character study of Trump, from his morality to his intellectual depth, which the author writes is based on his or her observations and experiences. Philip Rucker, Anchorage Daily News, "Book by ‘Anonymous’ describes Trump as cruel, inept and a danger to the nation," 8 Nov. 2019 The Trump presidency is a crisis to democracy, our values, our morality. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Suburban women want Congress to act on gun control, Republican poll finds," 20 Aug. 2019 Another key way women are discouraged from joining politics is the constant policing of their morality. Ciku Kimeria, Quartz Africa, "Kenyan politics is a boys’ game, but women are fighting hard for their rightful seat at the table," 12 Aug. 2019 Mr Moore is a solid theological conservative and a leading figure in dialogue with Catholics, but also a longstanding critic of Mr Trump, in particular his personal morality. The Economist, "When American evangelicals fall out," 5 July 2019 That's how flexible, variable, and contextual our morality is. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "I Am Mother envisions a dark future world where AI is almost human," 13 June 2019

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

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

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Statistics for morality

Last Updated

28 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Morality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 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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