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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • The accepted traditional customs and usages of a particular social group.
  • Moral attitudes.
  • Manners; ways.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A set of moral norms or customs derived from generally accepted practices. Mores derive from the established practices of a society rather than its written laws.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Customs; habits; esp., moral customs conformity to which is more or less obligatory; customary law.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (sociology) the conventions that embody the fundamental values of a group


Latin mōrēs, pl. of mōs, custom; see mē-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Latin mōrēs ("ways, character, morals"), the plural of mōs. (Wiktionary)


  • Romans used generally, for this idea, the term mores, and hence Cicero and

    Christian Ethics. Volume I.���History of Ethics.

  • Yet Selig, after doling out World Series rings to the Chicago White Sox Tuesday, said: It's important for somebody who understands what I call the mores of culture of this sport as well as he does.

    Selig Defends Choosing Disney's Mitchell For Probe

  • I am going to read you a little passage which I think you may value because it puts the whole thing in a nutshell; but before I read it I would just say that Bernard Shaw always uses the words "moral" and "immoral" in the classic sense (the Latin word mores meaning customs if I remember right) instead of in the limited vulgar sense, by which we mean that a moral man is merely a man who does not run off with somebody else's wife, and an immoral man is a man who does.

    Bernard Shaw and the Empire

  • Dionisio said the event, which includes a hayride and fires to make s'mores, is the group's biggest fundraiser.

    Dueling 'Field of Screams' Halloween venues pit Md. nonprofit against Pa. group

  • Michael's ignorance of social mores is the essence of the show.

    Is Michael Scott Ruining THE OFFICE? | the TV addict

  • Later philosophers, examining the principles of republicanism, argued that this sort of constraint by mores is desirable, because it holds behaviour in check more effectively.

    I Was Drinking When I Wrote This | Her Bad Mother

  • If a strong master/apprentice tradition exists, for example, where you're expected to gain a master's consent to teach you, and to "recompense" them with a period of submission to their teachings, if that's what "paying your dues" entails, then disrespecting those mores is disrespecting those sources/influences/teachers by refusing to pay the expected entry fee.

    The Sacred Domain

  • But my Church, using our institution's religious mores, is happy to perform a "marriage" ceremony for two people of the same gender.

    Sound Politics: New Jersey Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage rights

  • This definitely mitigates the dictatorial quality that I find most ... expediently wrong-headed in the conflation of morality with ethics, that reassuring conviction that an ethos, like mores, is a set of constraints imposed on the individual (with the ethos simply being the constraints imposed by the individual on themself).

    The Stain of Sin

  • The importance of mores is a universal trust to which study and experience continually bring us back.

    Letters to the Editor


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  • Haha!

    December 16, 2008

  • *adopts faux-Italian accent, squeezes accordion*

    When societies say you should act just one way,
    That's a-more!

    December 15, 2008

  • seanahan: the mores, the betters.

    December 15, 2008

  • (My) pronunciation.

    December 15, 2008

  • That pronunciation leads me to believe there are two syllables in this word, and I've only ever used one.

    December 15, 2008

  • Mores (pronounced 'maw-rayz') are norms or customs.

    Mores derive from the established practices of a society rather than its written laws. They consist of shared understandings about the kinds of behaviour likely to evoke approval, disapproval, toleration or sanction, within particular contexts.


    December 7, 2008