Meaning of “ethic” in the English Dictionary

"ethic" in British English

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uk /ˈeθ.ɪk/ us /ˈeθ.ɪk/

C2 [ C usually plural ] a system of accepted beliefs that control behaviour, especially such a system based on morals:

the (Protestant) work ethic
The ethics of journalism are much debated.
He said he was bound by a scientist's code of ethics.
Publication of the article was a breach of ethics.
ethics C2 [ U ]

the study of what is morally right and what is not

More examples

  • The doctor has been accused of violating professional ethics.
  • a code of behaviour/ethics
  • The company was known for its poor business ethics and many people refused to buy its products.
  • Members of the society are highly qualified and governed by a strict code of ethics.
  • He wrote an article criticizing the business community for its the lack of ethics.

(Definition of “ethic” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"ethic" in American English

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ethicnoun [ C usually pl ]

us /ˈeθ·ɪk/

a system of accepted beliefs that control behavior, esp. such a system based on morals:

Our school promotes an ethic of service to the community.
adjective us /ˈeθ·ɪ·kəl/

No ethical physician would prescribe that drug.
adverb us /ˈeθ·ɪk·li/

Laughing at your clients is ethically wrong.

(Definition of “ethic” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"ethic" in Business English

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ethicnoun [ C, usually plural ]

uk /ˈeθɪk/ us

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY a system of accepted rules about behaviour, based on what is considered right and wrong:

business/professional ethics It would be contrary to business ethics to refuse her insurance cover.
A coach is required to comply with the National Governing Body's code of ethics.
We promote an ethic of cooperation and social reciprocity.

See also

(Definition of “ethic” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)