Difference between MORAL and MORALE

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MORAL (noun / adjective)

As a noun, a moral is the lesson learned from a story – often used in the expression “the moral of the story.”

The plural form, morals, has a different meaning. It refers to a person’s standards of determining right and wrong behavior:

  • The doctor refused to perform an abortion because it was against her morals.
  • He has no morals whatsoever – he’ll do anything and everything to get rich.

The adjective moral refers to things related to ethics (matters of right/wrong):

  • If you know that a child is being abused, you have a moral obligation to inform the police.
  • It is often used with moral obligation/responsibility/duty

MORALE (noun)

The noun morale is completely different!

First of all, there is a pronunciation difference:

  • moral: MOR – al
  • morale: mor – ALE

Morale means the state of spirit/emotions of a group of people – their general confidence and cheerfulness.

  • If a sports team has high morale, it means the members of the team are feeling good and optimistic.
  • If morale is low among employees of a company, it means the employees are feeling negative and not motivated.

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