What does ethical mean?

Definitions for ethical
ˈɛθ ɪ kəleth·i·cal

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word ethical.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. ethical(adj)

    of or relating to the philosophical study of ethics

    "ethical codes"; "ethical theories"

  2. ethical(adj)

    conforming to accepted standards of social or professional behavior

    "an ethical lawyer"; "ethical medical practice"; "an ethical problem"; "had no ethical objection to drinking"; "Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants"- Omar N. Bradley

  3. ethical, honorable, honourable(adj)

    adhering to ethical and moral principles

    "it seems ethical and right"; "followed the only honorable course of action"


  1. ethical(Noun)

    An ethical drug.

    Etymology: From ethic + -al, from ethicus, from ἠθικός, from ἦθος.

  2. ethical(Adjective)

    Of or relating to the study of ethics.

    The philosopher Kant is particularly known for his ethical writings.

    Etymology: From ethic + -al, from ethicus, from ἠθικός, from ἦθος.

  3. ethical(Adjective)

    Of or relating to the accepted principles of right and wrong, especially those of some organization or profession.

    All employees must familiarize themselves with our ethical guidelines.

    Etymology: From ethic + -al, from ethicus, from ἠθικός, from ἦθος.

  4. ethical(Adjective)

    Morally approvable, when referring to an action that affects others; good.

    We are trying to decide what the most ethical course of action would be.

    Etymology: From ethic + -al, from ethicus, from ἠθικός, from ἦθος.

  5. ethical(Adjective)

    Only dispensed on the prescription of a physician.

    In most jurisdictions, morphine is classified as an ethical drug.

    Etymology: From ethic + -al, from ethicus, from ἠθικός, from ἦθος.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Ethical(adj)

    of, or belonging to, morals; treating of the moral feelings or duties; containing percepts of morality; moral; as, ethic discourses or epistles; an ethical system; ethical philosophy

    Etymology: [L. ethicus, Gr. , fr. custom, usage, character, dwelling; akin to custom, Goth. sidus, G. sitte, Skr. svadh, prob. orig., one's own doing; sva self + dh to set: cf. F. thique. See So, Do.]

Editors Contribution

  1. ethical

    Compliant with ethics.

    The company choose to be ethical in how they work with their supply networks to ensure all within the supply network have a fair price for their produce.

    Submitted by MaryC on July 17, 2020  
  2. ethical

    Relating to ethics.

    Ethical choices are easy as we are united as one connected humanity so we look after each other and provide support where necessary and vital/

    Submitted by MaryC on March 12, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'ethical' in Adjectives Frequency: #954

How to pronounce ethical?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say ethical in sign language?

  1. ethical


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of ethical in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of ethical in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of ethical in a Sentence

  1. Seyit Tumturk:

    The Internet service providers and the email providers have an ethical and a moral responsibility to let the users know that they are being hacked, we are talking in people's lives here.

  2. Mehmet Murat ildan:

    An ethical atheist is infinitely more valuable than an unethical pious! What matters is whether you are ethical or not; your beliefs are utterly trivial beside this matter!

  3. Mike Wagner:

    You never get to perfect, the goal is to be ethical as you're going from where we are today to where we want to be.

  4. Jacky St. James:

    Hard-core, rough sex can be ethical, what matters is that the performers are comfortable, consenting and respectful of everyone's boundaries.

  5. Sharon Degener:

    The Yamas Niyamas : Exploring Yoga's Ethical Practice.

Images & Illustrations of ethical

  1. ethicalethicalethicalethicalethical

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for ethical

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for ethical »


Find a translation for the ethical definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these ethical definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "ethical." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 27 Jan. 2021. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/ethical>.

    Are we missing a good definition for ethical? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    a deliberately offensive act or something producing the effect of deliberate disrespect
    • A. emanate
    • B. abhor
    • C. denudate
    • D. affront

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for ethical:

    Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.