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

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 thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment provide a way to see the connections between economics and morality. Erik W. Matson, National Review, 27 Sep. 2022 Yet Wulf points out that nothing in his philosophy was inimical to morality. Nikhil Krishnan, The New Yorker, 26 Sep. 2022 The question is not morality, the question is money. Ruha Benjamin, WIRED, 22 Sep. 2022 Her arrival ups the body count and boils over tension between Lestat's nasty disinterest and Louis' shaky morality. Darren Franich,, 22 Sep. 2022 The government has strongly rejected responsibility for 22-year-old Mahsa Amini's death, but the news has nonetheless galvanized thousands of Iranian women who have for decades faced the wrath of the Islamic Republic's morality enforcers firsthand. Nadeen Ebrahim, CNN, 21 Sep. 2022 This has been a theme of Lapid’s for many years: Netanyahu, unlike many previous Israeli leaders, refused to acknowledge the tension between strength and morality. Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic, 20 Sep. 2022 In recent years, Prince Mohammed, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, has loosened strict morality laws, allowing sexes to mix freely, permitting women to drive and reopening cinemas, part of a push to open the country to international money and visitors. Rory Jones, WSJ, 17 Sep. 2022 Videos posted on social media have shown cases of what appeared to be heavy-handed action by morality police units against women who had removed their hijab. Reuters, NBC News, 16 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of morality

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

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

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morality play

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Last Updated

29 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Morality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for morality


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on morality

Nglish: Translation of morality for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of morality for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about morality


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