moral authority

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English[edit]

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Noun[edit]

moral authority (uncountable)

  1. (of a person, institution, or written work) The quality or characteristic of being respected for having good character or knowledge, especially as a source of guidance or an exemplar of proper conduct.
    • 1835, John Orville Taylor, The District School or National Education 3rd ed., Carey, Lea, and Blanchard, Philadelphia, p. 287,
      The people adopted the government they had framed, and thus gave it its moral authority.
    • 1903, Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh, ch. 85,
      There was an essay . . . devoted to a consideration of the many questions which must be reopened and reconsidered on their merits if the teaching of the Church of England were to cease to carry moral authority.
    • 2007, "Bush to Meet With Dalai Lama Today," Time, 16 Oct.,
      While the Dalai Lama is lauded in much of the world as a figure of moral authority, Beijing reviles the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

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