Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Language: Latin
Origin: moralis, from mos 'what people usually or traditionally do'

moral

1 adjective
     
mor‧al1 S3 W2
1 [only before noun] relating to the principles of what is right and wrong behaviour, and with the difference between good and evil [↪ morally, ethical]:
It is easy to have an opinion on a moral issue like the death penalty for murder.
moral standards/values/principles
I think you can run a business to the highest moral standards.
If we accept that certain babies should be allowed to die, we place doctors in a moral dilemma.
Man is gifted with a moral sense by which he distinguishes good from evil.
2 [only before noun] based on your ideas about what is right, rather than on what is legal or practical:
The book places a high moral value on marriage and the family unit.
The UN feels that it has the moral authority (=influence because people accept that its beliefs are right) to send troops to the area.
moral duty/obligation/responsibility
A man has a moral duty to obey the law.
It isn't just lack of moral fibre (=lack of the emotional strength to do what you believe is right) which leads to a rising divorce rate.
3

moral support

encouragement that you give by expressing approval or interest, rather than by giving practical help:
Dad came along to give me some moral support.
4

moral victory

a situation in which you show that your beliefs are right and fair, even if you do not win:
Through Joan of Arc, France won a great moral victory.
5 always behaving in a way that is based on strong principles about what is right and wrong [≠ immoral, amoral]:
a moral man of high integrity
6

take/claim/seize the moral high ground

to claim that you are the only person who does what is morally right in a situation, with the intention of being noticed and considered to be good by the public

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