Definition of “ethical” - English Dictionary

“ethical” in British English

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ethicaladjective

uk /ˈeθ.ɪ.kəl/ us /ˈeθ.ɪ.kəl/

C2 relating to beliefs about what is morally right and wrong:

ethical and legal issues

C2 morally right:

a medical procedure that most people believe to be ethical

More examples

  • Transplantation of organs from living donors raises ethical issues.
  • Europe's varied cultural, political and ethical norms
  • a minefield of ethical problems
  • It may be feasible to clone human beings, but is it ethical?
  • an ethical dilemma
ethically
adverb uk /ˈeθ.ɪ.kəl.i/ us /ˈeθ.ɪ.kəl.i/

This action is ethically questionable.

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

“ethical” in Business English

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ethicaladjective

uk /ˈeθɪkəl/ us SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

morally right:

ethical behaviour/conduct The awards recognize companies, individuals, and nonprofit organizations for ethical behavior.
ethical practice/trading
Is it ethical to recruit healthcare workers from developing countries experiencing shortages?

relating to beliefs about what is morally right and wrong:

a consultant on legal and ethical issues
the ethical dilemmas surrounding genetic research
ethically
adverb /ˈeθɪkli/

Many ethically minded investors would think twice before funding an industry known for misleading ads.

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