9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[eth-i-kuh l] /ˈɛθ ɪ kəl/
pertaining to or dealing with morals or the principles of morality; pertaining to right and wrong in conduct.
being in accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct or practice, especially the standards of a profession:
It was not considered ethical for physicians to advertise.
(of drugs) sold only upon medical prescription.
Origin of ethical
1600-10; ethic + -al1
Related forms
ethically, adverb
ethicality, ethicalness, noun
hyperethical, adjective
hyperethically, adverb
nonethical, adjective
nonethically, adverb
nonethicalness, noun
pseudoethical, adjective
pseudoethically, adverb
superethical, adjective
superethically, adverb
unethical, adjective
2. moral, upright, honest, righteous, virtuous, honorable.
2. immoral. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ethical
  • He seems to mean that he is in favour of ignoring general moral and ethical principles because they are meaningless.
  • It is also a milestone in bioethics, touching as it does on a number of moral and ethical issues surrounding the end of life.
  • Robinson traces the evolution of the concept of "natural life" as an ethical standard.
  • And recently Senate hearings were held to examine the ethical issues.
  • The technical and ethical problems of physicians today extend far beyond their patient lists and medical societies.
  • In these high-tech times, ethical questions may seem more complex than ever.
  • Your intention is not ethical.
  • This is an ethical issue, not a legal discussion.
  • Hypocrisy is the mark of the ethical incompetent.
  • Other ethical issues are more subtle, if only because relatively few among the general public ponder these things.
British Dictionary definitions for ethical


in accordance with principles of conduct that are considered correct, esp those of a given profession or group
of or relating to ethics
(of a medicinal agent) available legally only with a doctor's prescription or consent
Derived Forms
ethically, adverb
ethicalness, ethicality, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ethical

c.1600, "pertaining to morality," from ethic + -al (1). Related: Ethicality; ethically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ethical in Medicine

ethical eth·i·cal (ěth'ĭ-kəl)

  1. Of, relating to, or dealing with ethics.

  2. Being in accordance with the accepted principles of right and wrong that govern the conduct of a profession.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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