premoral

adjective

pre·​mor·​al ˌprē-ˈmȯr-əl How to pronounce premoral (audio)
-ˈmär-
variants or pre-moral
: of, relating to, or suggestive of a time before the development of a personal or social moral code : not having, showing, or involving an understanding of right and wrong
premoral instincts/behaviors
a pre-moral society
For what is Archie but a premoral child, almost entirely self-serving, quite unaware of anyone else's needs …Richard Schickel
… presents characters stunted at a sort of pre-moral stage of life …Mick LaSalle
It is pre-moral, invoking not the concepts of right and wrong, but the psychological mechanism of empathy.Daniel Maidman

Word History

First Known Use

1858, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of premoral was in 1858

Dictionary Entries Near premoral

Cite this Entry

“Premoral.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/premoral. Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!