English Dictionary

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ethics (ˈɛθɪks Pronunciation for ethics



  1. (functioning as singular) the philosophical study of the moral value of human conduct and of the rules and principles that ought to govern it; moral philosophy See also meta-ethics
  2. (functioning as plural) a social, religious, or civil code of behaviour considered correct, esp that of a particular group, profession, or individual
  3. (functioning as plural) the moral fitness of a decision, course of action, etc   ⇒ he doubted the ethics of their verdict

Derived Forms

ˈethicist, eˈthician noun


View thesaurus entry
= moral code, standards, principles, morals, conscience, morality, moral values, moral principles, moral philosophy, rules of conduct, moral beliefs, tikanga

Quotations including 'ethics'

  • "True ethics begin where the use of language ceases" [Albert Schweitzer

ethic (ˈɛθɪk Pronunciation for ethic



  1. a moral principle or set of moral values held by an individual or group   ⇒ the Puritan ethic


  1. another word for ethical

Word Origin

C15: from Latin ēthicus, from Greek ēthikos, from ēthos custom; see ethos

Translations for 'ethics'

  • British English: ethics Ethics are moral beliefs and rules about right and wrong. NOUNIts members are bound by a rigid code of ethics which includes confidentiality.
  • Brazilian Portuguese: moral
  • Chinese: 伦理伦倫理
  • European Spanish: ética
  • French: déontologie
  • German: Moral
  • Italian: etica
  • Japanese: 倫理
  • Korean: 도덕 윤리
  • Portuguese: moral
  • Spanish: ética

Example Sentences Including 'ethics'

Baroness Warnock is wary of what she regards as sloppy thinking in the ethics industry.
Independent (1998)
He lent me a book about art and ethics by the British philosopher Hume.
Anita Anderson SUMMER OF SECRETS (2003)
However, my sympathy didn't override my professional ethics.
Val McDermid DEAD BEAT (2002)
However, neither the Commons nor the Senate, which will have a separate ethics officer, has finalized the codes of conduct.
Globe and Mail (2003)
It stands out that publication in a respected journal deterred questioning of the authors ' ethics.
New Scientist (2004)
Larger questions of social or moral ethics do not seem relevant to Pandarus.
Benson, David C Chaucer's `Troilus and Criseyde
Mr. Martin confirmed yesterday that he asked Mr. Wilson in early January to work out new ethics rules that could apply to a prime minister.
Globe and Mail (2003)
The ethics `would depend on whether you're looking at it from the donor's side or the recipient's".
Independent (1998)
This manipulation of masses of people was an unforgivable violation of his cetic ethics.
Zindell, David The Broken God


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