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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • ethically, mystically, he was always a Christian; dogmatically he knew not what he was.

    Lincoln Nathaniel Wright Stephenson
  • Thus the religion of Homer is, ethically, a very good religion.

    The World of Homer Andrew Lang
  • The monster sent by one to devour Prometheus is ethically atwin with the snake created by the other to bite the heel of man.

    Demonology and Devil-lore Moncure Daniel Conway
  • Care must be taken that the stories chosen are ethically sound.

    The Dramatization of Bible Stories Elizabeth Erwin Miller Lobingier
  • ethically the Roman state embodied the highest good, hence all human good depended upon the integrity and security of the state.

    The Rise of the Mediaeval Church Alexander Clarence Flick
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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