Moral vs morale

Photo of author


Moral can be used as either an adjective or a noun. As an adjective, moral describes something or someone who conforms to the rules of ethical behavior. When moral is used as a noun, it can mean (1) the lesson imparted by a story or fable or (2) a principle to follow for right conduct.
The verb form is moralize, which carries a negative connotation. Moralize means to express an opinion about morals, usually in a self-righteous or annoying way.
Morale is the enthusiasm and devotion a person or group of people has for a job, position or employer.

By age 2, children experience some moral emotions — feelings triggered by right and wrong. [The New York Times]
He tells each story in strong and clear prose, delivers the required moral, and moves on. [Chicago Tribune]
Decades after his death, she said, those morals her father cared so deeply about maintaining in his work are on display in this museum. [Des Moines Register]
As my Reason colleague Peter Suderman argued last fall, we live in a golden age of episodic dramas precisely because “murder, treachery, and mayhem” are running free and wild, and creators are no longer overly worried about trying to moralize misdeeds into some pat lesson about virtue and redemption. [The Daily Beast]
It was agreed that patient safety is always paramount and whilst these ‘teething’ issues did not affect patient safety, there was agreement that they did impact on staff morale. [The Herald, Scotland]