pre·​eth·​i·​cal ˌprē-ˈe-thi-kəl How to pronounce preethical (audio)
variants or pre-ethical
: existing or occurring before personal or social ethics have been developed or considered
The analytical history starts by attempting to understand relevant psychological capacities of the preethical ancestors …Philip Kitcher
More remote ancestors, human beings without full language perhaps, were pre-ethical.Philip Kitcher
… what ethicians might call the pre-ethical stages of human development …Robert J. Starratt
Laws are a pre-ethical stage. While they orient a person to virtue, acting because the law obliges one to act is not truly virtuous.Raymond J. Devettere
It sounds like a story from journalism's pre-ethical days …Jack Shafer

Word History

First Known Use

1881, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of preethical was in 1881

Dictionary Entries Near preethical

Cite this Entry

“Preethical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

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