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Moral vs. Morale

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  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
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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.

Origin:

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:

The word moral is used as a noun which means a lesson that can be derived from a story or experience.

The moral of this story was that one must see the beauty in what one has.

Moral also means standards of behaviour; principles of right and wrong.

The corruption of public morals is unbearable.

Moral as adjective:

The word moral is used as an adjective which means concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior.

The moral dimensions of medical intervention are at stake.

Holding or manifesting high principles for proper conduct is also termed as moral.

Moral vs. Morale

He prides himself on being a highly moral and ethical person.

Morale as noun:

Morale is used as a noun in English language where it refers to the confidence, enthusiasm, and discipline of a person or group at a particular time.

The team's morale was high before the match began.

Examples:

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]

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.

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