If two words are spelled similarly, it can be tricky to remember which is which. That is the case with moral and morale. Both of these words can function as a noun in a sentence, but only one of them can function as an an adjective as well. Continue reading to find out which as which, and for help deciding whether the word you need is moral or morale.
In this article, I will compare moral vs. morale. I will use each word in a sentence to demonstrate its proper use and function. Then, at the end, I will give you a useful trick to help remember whether to choose morale or moral for your writing.
The word moral originated from late Middle English: from Latin moralis, from mos, mor- ‘custom’, (plural) mores ‘morals’. As a noun the word was first used to translate Latin Moralia, the title of St Gregory the Great's moral exposition of the Book of Job, and was subsequently applied to the works of various classical writers. The word morale originated in mid-18th century: from French moral, respelled to preserve the final stress in pronunciation.
Moral as noun:
Moral as adjective:
Morale as noun:
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]
Moral or morale:
In this article, I discussed the differences between moral and morale, including demonstrations of each in a proper sentence. Moral is an adjective that refers to the quality of rightness or virtue. It is also a noun that refers to either a standard of rightness or good conduct, or the lesson of a story. Morale is a noun that means the spirit or confidence of a person or group. Since morale and confidence both end in the letter E, it should be easy to remember to reserve morale for this context.