English

Definition of moral adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    moral

     adjective
    adjective
    BrE BrE//ˈmɒrəl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmɔːrəl//
     
    , NAmE//ˈmɑːrəl//
     
    Moral
     
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  1. 1  [only before noun] concerned with principles of right and wrong behaviour a moral issue/dilemma/question traditional moral values a decline in moral standards moral philosophy a deeply religious man with a highly developed moral sense The newspapers were full of moral outrage at the weakness of other countries.
  2. 2  [only before noun] based on your own sense of what is right and fair, not on legal rights or duties synonym ethical moral responsibility/duty Governments have at least a moral obligation to answer these questions. The job was to call on all her diplomatic skills and moral courage (= the courage to do what you think is right). See related entries: Moral
  3. 3  following the standards of behaviour considered acceptable and right by most people synonym good, honourable He led a very moral life. a very moral person compare amoral, immoral
  4. 4[only before noun] able to understand the difference between right and wrong Children are not naturally moral beings.
  5. Word Origin late Middle English: from Latin moralis, from mos, mor- ‘custom’, (plural) mores ‘morals’. As a noun the word was first used to translate Latin Moralia, the title of St Gregory the Great's moral exposition of the Book of Job, and was later applied to the works of various classical writers.Extra examples He’s a deeply religious man with a highly developed moral sense. Politicians have a moral obligation to address the needs of the poorest. She felt she had a moral duty to look after her elderly parents. She’s always lamenting what she sees as the decline in moral standards. The basic moral philosophies of most world religions are remarkably similar. The colonel stumped out, his face flushed with moral indignation. The job was to call upon all her skills of diplomacy and moral courage. The press whipped up a moral panic over these so-called ‘welfare scroungers’. We try to teach our students to be conscientious, moral young people.Idioms
    take, claim, seize, etc. the moral high ground
     
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    to claim that your side of an argument is morally better than your opponents’ side; to argue in a way that makes your side seem morally better
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: moral