AskDefine | Define moral

Dictionary Definition

moral adj
1 relating to principles of right and wrong; i.e. to morals or ethics; "moral philosophy"
2 concerned with principles of right and wrong or conforming to standards of behavior and character based on those principles; "moral sense"; "a moral scrutiny"; "a moral lesson"; "a moral quandary"; "moral convictions"; "a moral life" [ant: immoral, amoral]
3 adhering to ethical and moral principles; "it seems ethical and right"; "followed the only honorable course of action"; "had the moral courage to stand alone" [syn: ethical, honorable, honourable]
4 arising from the sense of right and wrong; "a moral obligation"
5 psychological rather than physical or tangible in effect; "a moral victory"; "moral support"
6 based on strong likelihood or firm conviction rather than actual evidence; "a moral certainty" [syn: moral(a)] n : the significance of a story or event; "the moral of the story is to love thy neighbor" [syn: lesson]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From moralis

Pronunciation

  • a RP /ˈmɒrəl/
  • a US /ˈmɔːrəl/
  • Rhymes with: -ɒrəl

Adjective

  1. of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behaviour, especially for teaching right behavior
    moral judgments, a moral poem
  2. conforming to a standard of right behaviour; sanctioned by or operative on one's conscience or ethical judgment
    a moral obligation
  3. capable of right and wrong action
    a moral agent
  4. probable but not proved
    a moral certainty
  5. positively affecting the mind, confidence or will
    a moral victory, moral support

Synonyms

Translations

relating to principles of right and wrong
conforming to a standard of right behavior
capable of right and wrong action
probable but not proved
positively affecting the mind, confidence or will

Noun

  1. the moral significance or practical lesson (the moral of a story)
  2. moral practices or teachings: modes of conduct

Synonyms

  • (moral practices or teachings): ethics

Translations

the moral significance or practical lesson
moral practices or teachings

Spanish

Adjective

  1. moral

Noun

  1. moral

Related terms

Extensive Definition

A moral is a message conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a story or event. The moral may be left to the hearer, reader or viewer to determine for themselves, or may be explicitly encapsulated in a maxim. As an example of the latter, at the end of Aesop's fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, in which the plodding and determined tortoise wins a race against the much-faster yet extremely arrogant hare, the moral is "slow and steady wins the race."
The use of stock characters is a means of conveying the moral of the story by eliminating complexity of personality and so spelling out the issues arising in the interplay between the characters, enabling the writer to make clear the message. With more rounded characters, such as those typically found in Shakespeare's plays, the moral may be more nuanced but no less present, and the writer may point it up in other ways (see, for example, the Prologue to Romeo and Juliet.)
Throughout the history of recorded literature, the majority of fictional writing has served not only to entertain but also to instruct, inform or improve their audiences or readership. In classical drama, for example, the role of the chorus was to comment on the proceedings and draw out a message for the audience to take away with them; while the novels of Charles Dickens are a vehicle for morals regarding the social and economic system of Victorian Britain.
Morals have typically been more obvious in children's literature, sometimes even being introduced with the phrase, "The moral of the story is …". Such explicit techniques have grown increasingly out of fashion in modern storytelling, and are now usually only included for ironic purposes. As Oscar Wilde observes wryly, The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.
Some examples are: "Better be safe than sorry", "The evil deserves no aid", "Be friends with whom you don't like", "Don't judge people by the way they look", "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me" and "Slow and steady wins the race".

References

moral in Spanish: Moraleja
moral in Galician: Moral
moral in Macedonian: Наравоучение
moral in Portuguese: Moralidade
moral in Simple English: Moral
moral in Slovak: Epimýtia
moral in Swedish: Sensmoral

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Christian, adage, admonishment, admonition, alarm, ana, analects, angelic, aphorism, apophthegm, apothegm, assignment, axiological, axiom, behavior, belief, blameless, brocard, byword, canon, catchword, caution, caveat, chalk talk, chaste, clean, code, collected sayings, commandment, conduct, conscientious, convention, creditable, current saying, customs, decent, deferential, deterrent example, dictate, dictum, discourse, disquisition, distich, duteous, dutiful, epigram, erect, estimable, ethical, ethics, ethological, example, exercise, exposition, expression, fair, final notice, final warning, form, formula, full of integrity, general principle, gnome, godly, golden rule, golden saying, good, guideline, guiding principle, habits, harangue, high-minded, high-principled, highly respectable, hint, homework, homily, honest, honorable, ideals, immaculate, imperative, incorruptible, instruction, integrity, inviolate, irreproachable, just, law, law-abiding, law-loving, law-revering, lecture, lecture-demonstration, lesson, manly, maxim, message, mitzvah, modest, monition, moral lesson, moralistic, morality, moralization, moralizing, morals, mores, mot, motto, noble, norm, notice, notification, obedient, object lesson, observant, oracle, ordinance, phrase, pithy saying, point, practices, preachment, preachy, precept, prescript, principium, principle, principled, principles, probity, proper, proverb, proverbial saying, proverbs, pure, recital, recitation, rectitude, regulation, reputable, respectable, respectful, right, right-minded, righteous, rubric, rule, saintlike, saintly, saw, saying, scruples, scrupulous, sentence, sententious expression, seraphic, sermon, sermonizing, set task, settled principle, skull session, slogan, sloka, spotless, stainless, standard, standards, sterling, stock saying, straight, sutra, talk, task, teaching, teachy, tenet, text, threat, tip-off, true-dealing, true-devoted, true-disposing, true-souled, true-spirited, truehearted, truism, ultimatum, unblemished, uncorrupt, uncorrupted, undefiled, unimpeachable, unspotted, unstained, unsullied, untarnished, upright, uprighteous, upstanding, verbum sapienti, verse, virtuous, warning, warning piece, wisdom, wisdom literature, wise saying, witticism, word, words of wisdom, working principle, working rule, worthy, yeomanly
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