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

And in heartland communities where the president is popular, the crackdown is often debated — by supporters and critics alike — through the lens of Christian morality. New York Times, "An ICE Raid Leaves an Iowa Town Divided Along Faith Lines," 3 July 2018 Apart from the morality question, Haspel also fended off questions about her 2005 recommendation — which was ultimately followed — to destroy videotapes of 92 interrogations. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Sen. John McCain urges Senate to reject CIA nominee Gina Haspel over torture, morality," 9 May 2018 Historian Amy Warbel, author of the new book Lust on Trial: Censorship and the Rise of American Obscenity in the Age of Anthony Comstock, talks with our contributor Randy Dotinga about this morality cop's divisive and influential career. Randy Dotinga, The Christian Science Monitor, "The 19th-century censor who pushed Americans too far," 10 Apr. 2018 Because Ann Walker goes through such an extraordinary journey and has to confront her religion and her own sense of morality, throughout the series there are these huge ups and downs. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "The actress, a veteran of Bodyguard and Peaky Blinders, says portraying the 19th-century character Ann Walker is “one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever done.”," 7 May 2019 For this reason, scientists have debated the evolutionary foundations of morality. John Hawks, WSJ, "‘The Goodness Paradox’ Review: The Benefits of Good Breeding," 25 Jan. 2019 Lots of fans found Tati's choice to talk about kindness and morality in front of a ton of JSC lipsticks very off-putting, considering that Jeffree is famous for brutally bashing both fans and former friends on his Twitter account. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Twitter is Dragging Tati Westbrook for Filming Her James Charles Video With Jeffree Star Lipsticks in the Background," 17 May 2019 No other cover, however, has so plainly questioned the morality of a Trump policy in a visual context. Jason Abbruzzese, NBC News, "Time Magazine puts family separation at Trump's feet, literally," 21 June 2018 Older women question the morality of the accusers who visited a married man’s home. Solomon Jones,, "The rift in the black community over the Cosby verdict | Solomon Jones," 1 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

21 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for morality

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

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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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showing courage and determination

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