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[muh-ral-i-tee, maw-] /məˈræl ɪ ti, mɔ-/
noun, plural moralities for 4–6.
conformity to the rules of right conduct; moral or virtuous conduct.
moral quality or character.
virtue in sexual matters; chastity.
a doctrine or system of morals.
moral instruction; a moral lesson, precept, discourse, or utterance.
Origin of morality
1350-1400; Middle English moralite < Late Latin mōrālitās. See moral, -ity
Related forms
antimorality, adjective
hypermorality, noun
premorality, noun
1. See goodness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for morality
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • morality is morality, just because it possesses an absolute authoritativeness which they lack.

    Ethics John Dewey and James Hayden Tufts
  • Aspasia remained in Athens, triumphant over the laws of religion and morality.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • Is the morality of your west of London any better than the east?

    The Man Who Rose Again Joseph Hocking
  • An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught.

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
  • I cannot remember that the morality, or thought, or devotion of a single passage ever struck me on these occasions.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for morality


noun (pl) -ties
the quality of being moral
conformity, or degree of conformity, to conventional standards of moral conduct
a system of moral principles
an instruction or lesson in morals
short for morality play
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 morality

late 14c., "moral qualities," from Old French moralité "moral (of a story); moral instruction; morals, moral character" (13c.) and directly from Late Latin moralitatem (nominative moralitas) "manner, character," from Latin moralis (see moral (adj.)). Meaning "goodness" is attested from 1590s.

Where there is no free agency, there can be no morality. Where there is no temptation, there can be little claim to virtue. Where the routine is rigorously proscribed by law, the law, and not the man, must have the credit of the conduct. [William H. Prescott, "History of the Conquest of Peru," 1847]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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