Hypertext Webster Gateway: "moral"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Moral \Mor"al\, a. [F., fr. It. moralis, fr. mos, moris, manner,
custom, habit, way of life, conduct.]
1. Relating to duty or obligation; pertaining to those
intentions and actions of which right and wrong, virtue
and vice, are predicated, or to the rules by which such
intentions and actions ought to be directed; relating to
the practice, manners, or conduct of men as social beings
in relation to each other, as respects right and wrong, so
far as they are properly subject to rules.

Keep at the least within the compass of moral
actions, which have in them vice or virtue.

Mankind is broken loose from moral bands. --Dryden.

She had wandered without rule or guidance in a moral
wilderness. --Hawthorne.

2. Conformed to accepted rules of right; acting in conformity
with such rules; virtuous; just; as, a moral man. Used
sometimes in distinction from religious; as, a moral
rather than a religious life.

The wiser and more moral part of mankind. --Sir M.

3. Capable of right and wrong action or of being governed by
a sense of right; subject to the law of duty.

A moral agent is a being capable of those actions
that have a moral quality, and which can properly be
denominated good or evil in a moral sense. --J.

4. Acting upon or through one's moral nature or sense of
right, or suited to act in such a manner; as, a moral
arguments; moral considerations. Sometimes opposed to
{material} and {physical}; as, moral pressure or support.

5. Supported by reason or probability; practically
sufficient; -- opposed to {legal} or {demonstrable}; as, a
moral evidence; a moral certainty.

6. Serving to teach or convey a moral; as, a moral lesson;
moral tales.

{Moral agent}, a being who is capable of acting with
reference to right and wrong.

{Moral certainty}, a very high degree or probability,
although not demonstrable as a certainty; a probability of
so high a degree that it can be confidently acted upon in
the affairs of life; as, there is a moral certainty of his

{Moral insanity}, insanity, so called, of the moral system;
badness alleged to be irresponsible.

{Moral philosophy}, the science of duty; the science which
treats of the nature and condition of man as a moral
being, of the duties which result from his moral
relations, and the reasons on which they are founded.

{Moral play}, an allegorical play; a morality. [Obs.]

{Moral sense}, the power of moral judgment and feeling; the
capacity to perceive what is right or wrong in moral
conduct, and to approve or disapprove, independently of
education or the knowledge of any positive rule or law.

{Moral theology}, theology applied to morals; practical
theology; casuistry.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Moral \Mor"al\, v. i.
To moralize. [Obs.] --Shak.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Moral \Mor"al\, n.
1. The doctrine or practice of the duties of life; manner of
living as regards right and wrong; conduct; behavior; --
usually in the plural.

Corrupt in their morals as vice could make them.

2. The inner meaning or significance of a fable, a narrative,
an occurrence, an experience, etc.; the practical lesson
which anything is designed or fitted to teach; the
doctrine meant to be inculcated by a fiction; a maxim.

Thus may we gather honey from the weed, And make a
moral of the devil himself. --Shak.

To point a moral, or adorn a tale. --Johnson.

We protest against the principle that the world of
pure comedy is one into which no moral enters.

3. A morality play. See {Morality}, 5.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

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
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}]

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