Definition of ethic in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɛθɪk/


[in singular]
A set of moral principles, especially ones relating to or affirming a specified group, field, or form of conduct: the puritan ethic was being replaced by the hedonist ethic
More example sentences
  • The ethic of public service was passed on from his father, who worked in the island's customs office.
  • The programme was also intended to develop the ethic of natural resource conservation.
  • Miller was a persistent critic not of commerce, but of the commercial ethic as an all-embracing ideology.


Relating to moral principles or the branch of knowledge dealing with these: the ethic question is of wider import
More example sentences
  • I think there is an ethic question here.
  • Of course these ethic questions must be answered in the comfort of your own home safe and warm at night.


Late Middle English (denoting ethics or moral philosophy; also used attributively): from Old French éthique, from Latin ethice, from Greek (hē) ēthikē (tekhnē) '(the science of) morals', based on ēthos (see ethos).

  • At first this term referred to ethics or moral philosophy. It comes via Old French from Latin ethice, from Greek (hē)ēthikē (tekhnē) ‘(the science of) morals’. The base is Greek ēthos ‘nature, disposition’, source of ethos (mid 19th century).

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