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or (especially British) moralise

[mawr-uh-lahyz, mor-] /ˈmɔr əˌlaɪz, ˈmɒr-/
verb (used without object), moralized, moralizing.
to reflect on or express opinions about something in terms of right and wrong, especially in a self-righteous or tiresome way.
verb (used with object), moralized, moralizing.
to explain in a moral sense, or draw a moral from.
to improve the morals of.
Origin of moralize
1350-1400; Middle English moralisen < Medieval Latin mōrālizāre. See moral, -ize
Related forms
moralization, noun
moralizer, noun
moralizingly, adverb
overmoralize, verb, overmoralized, overmoralizing.
overmoralizingly, adverb
unmoralizing, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for moralizer
Historical Examples
  • If the moralizer knew just when to stop moralizing, how much longer the flavor of his philosophy would endure.

  • The moralizer was touched by a grenadier with the butt end of his musket, so that the "spirit fell into the ditch."

  • A moralizer might find abundant themes for his speculative and impracticable wisdom in a garret.

    Twice Told Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The old man looks eastward, and (for he is a moralizer) frames a simile of the stage coach and the sun.

  • The old man looks eastward, and (for he is a moralizer) frames a simile of the stage-coach and the sun.

    Twice Told Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Brooke laughed softly, as he watched the water run down the moralizer's nose.

    A Damaged Reputation Harold Bindloss
  • Still, he could not explain this to Charnock; he was not a moralizer or clever at argument.

    The Girl From Keller's Harold Bindloss
  • She is more obviously, more consciously a preacher and moralizer than any of her great contemporaries.

    English Literature William J. Long
  • "And with too good reason, sir," said Linton, assuming the look and air of a moralizer.

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
  • But Grief, not Joy, is a moralizer; and small moralizing wisdom caught Pierre from that scene.

    Pierre; or The Ambiguities Herman Melville
British Dictionary definitions for moralizer


(intransitive) to make moral pronouncements
(transitive) to interpret or explain in a moral sense
(transitive) to improve the morals of
Derived Forms
moralization, moralisation, noun
moralizer, moraliser, 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 moralizer



c.1400, "expound or interpret spiritual or moral significance," from Old French moraliser and directly from Late Latin moralizare, from moralis (see moral (adj.)). Related: Moralized; moralizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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