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[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 ethically
  • To me, targeted hunts are ethically similar to the destruction of habits for timber.
  • It doesn't make sense in any way: economically, environmentally, or ethically.
  • Of course, that doesn't mean it's impossible for a bank to act in an ethically reprehensible way.
  • Countervailing ethical demands also keep us from acting ethically.
  • ethically, a truly wild animal made more sense than any creature raised in confinement.
  • It is neither practically nor ethically desirable to appoint a dictator.
  • These comparisons are notoriously tricky to deploy in an ethically scrupulous way.
  • It is morally, ethically and spiritually wrong what he does.
  • But he was right, all things ethically considered, to try.
  • But that doesn't mean that it is always right-ethically right, for example-to do so.
British Dictionary definitions for ethically


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 ethically



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ethically 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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