Definition of ethical in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɛθɪk(ə)l/


1Relating to moral principles or the branch of knowledge dealing with these: ethical issues in nursing ethical standards
More example sentences
  • In this case, the mother was not arguing a religious, moral or ethical principle.
  • The way scientific knowledge is used raises ethical issues for everyone involved, not just scientists.
  • Consequently, the Authority's discretion on issues of ethical principle is difficult to challenge.
social, behavioural;
having to do with right and wrong
1.1Morally good or correct: can a profitable business ever be ethical?
More example sentences
  • Besides, the average oilman is too ethical and morally upstanding to work in such places only for profit.
  • He was convinced that the lower classes must fear God in order to be ethical.
  • Do you say that it's also a legitimate, appropriate, ethical business as well?
morally correct, right-minded, right-thinking, principled, irreproachable, unimpeachable, blameless, guiltless;
righteous, upright, upstanding, high-minded, virtuous, good, moral;
exemplary, clean, law-abiding, lawful;
just, honest, honourable, unbribable, incorruptible;
scrupulous, reputable, decent, respectable, noble, lofty, elevated, worthy, trustworthy, meritorious, praiseworthy, commendable, admirable, laudable;
pure, pure as the driven snow, whiter than white, sinless, saintly, saintlike, godly, angelic;
Christianity  immaculate, impeccable
informal squeaky clean
1.2Avoiding activities or organizations that do harm to people or the environment: an expert on ethical investment switching to more ethical products adopt ethical shopping habits ethical holidays
More example sentences
  • Broadly speaking, there are two types of ethical fund.
  • Without mandated standards, many corporate managers are left with some thorny ethical dilemmas.
  • Within the next few months I think the Medical Council will change its ethical guidelines to allow abortion in the case of suicide risk.
2 [attributive] (Of a medicine) legally available only on a doctor’s prescription and usually not advertised to the general public: all types of drugs, including ethical drugs and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals
More example sentences
  • The new opportunities that this offers to the pharmaceutical industry mean that, if they are to be fully realized, companies' future strategies will need to be orientated not only around the key area of ethical drugs but also around the potential long-term role of over-the-counter sales.
  • Early returns from a survey now going on in San Francisco indicate that use of ethical drugs is indeed more common in better educated and higher income groups.



Pronunciation: /ɛθɪˈkalɪti/
Example sentences
  • As man has sought to quench his thirst for knowledge, lines of ethicality have been drawn to preserve the integrity of science, and provide a framework from which man can improve upon the quality of human life.
  • More recent conflicts like the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the invasion of Grenada, and the Gulf war have made people analyze the ethicality behind the fighting.
  • Such research would be valuable and should examine both the effectiveness of fear appeals in ads as well as perceptions of the ethicality of these tactics.

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Line breaks: eth|ic¦al

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