the moral high ground


: a position in which one has a moral advantage over others
These countries lost/ceded the moral high ground when they entered the war to protect their economic interests.
She believes she has the moral high ground on this issue.

Examples of the moral high ground in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Anyone uncertain about who maintains the moral high ground in the Israel-Hamas war need only to look at the use of hospitals by both sides. Evan Nierman, Baltimore Sun, 16 Apr. 2024 As time passes and the number of Palestinians killed continues to rise, Hamas’s atrocities on October 7 are fading from public consciousness, and Israel’s have weakened its own case to possess the moral high ground. Ami Ayalon, Foreign Affairs, 11 Apr. 2024 That is because the point of shaming is not just to try to change a state’s behavior but also to stake the moral high ground, earning credit with the public and winning the favor of other countries. Rochelle Terman, Foreign Affairs, 27 Mar. 2024 But reader defenses of TPB, spurred by my review of the TPB DVD, show how some conservatives have given up the moral high ground. Armond White, National Review, 21 Feb. 2024 Meanwhile, the pursuit of détente with the Soviet Union, a strategy that deemphasized ideological confrontation in search of diplomatic stability, led some conservatives to allege that Washington was abandoning the moral high ground. Hal Brands, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 The issues involved feel irreconcilable, because many of those engaged in the debate believe that their positions represent the moral high ground. Charles Blow, The Mercury News, 10 Feb. 2024 The best way for Israel to defeat Hamas, therefore, is to regain the moral high ground by moderating its use of force and offering more protection to Palestinian civilians. Audrey Kurth Cronin, Foreign Affairs, 22 Nov. 2023 Even while acknowledging responsibility for such actions, Ukrainian officials claim the moral high ground against Russia. Isabelle Khurshudyan, Washington Post, 23 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'the moral high ground.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near the moral high ground

Cite this Entry

“The moral high ground.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

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