moralize

When you moralize, you lecture someone about right and wrong, judging their decisions and actions. It’s just plain wrong for people to moralize! Oops.

If you know someone who complains about "kids today" and pontificates about how things were in the past, adding an opinion of the proper way to act, you're familiar with the verb moralize. At the heart of moralize is moral, from the Latin root moralis, "proper behavior of a person in society," and someone who moralizes simply wants to share their own idea of what's moral — unfortunately, they tend to do it in an overly superior way.

Definitions of moralize
  1. verb
    speak as if delivering a sermon; express moral judgments
    synonyms: moralise, preachify, sermonise, sermonize
    see moresee less
    type of:
    advocate, preach
    speak, plead, or argue in favor of
  2. verb
    interpret the moral meaning of
    moralize a story”
    synonyms: moralise
    see moresee less
    type of:
    interpret, rede
    give an interpretation or explanation to
  3. verb
    improve the morals of
    synonyms: moralise
    see moresee less
    type of:
    reclaim, rectify, reform, regenerate
    bring, lead, or force to abandon a wrong or evil course of life, conduct, and adopt a right one
Word Family