Immoral Vs Unethical, Do These Mean The Same? Differences

Using similar terms can produce confusion and misinterpretation of information. Still, despite the similar meanings that some words may have, we must do the proper research to reach a reasonable conclusion.

“Immoral” refers to violating human behavior rules and applies more to an individual’s personal belief that what they understand is moral or immoral. “Unethical,” however, may have a similar meaning but is more inclined to the conduct of a professional or particular group.

The terms “immoral” and “unethical” may have the same meaning, led by a thin line that makes it more difficult to understand how and when to use these terms. However, we have brought some basic definitions, meanings, and examples to help understand these two terms.

Meaning Of The Word “Immoral”

“Immoral” is everything outside of what society has described as acceptable, honest, and moral standards. “Immoral” is not adhering to the patterns of behavior usually approved as regular with personal and social ethics principles. An Immoral person knows and can differentiate between good and evil but still decides to do evil.

misconduct synonym of immoral

Etymology Of “Immoral”

“Immoral” is the opposite of “moral.” The word “moral” comes from the Old French word “moral,” first used in the 14th century, and directly related to the Latin word “moralis,” which means “of manners.” Adding “In” makes the word “moral” the opposite of its meaning.

The opposite of moral, “Immoral,” was first used in 1660.

Synonyms Of “Immoral”

  • Unethical
  • Dark
  • Evil
  • Iniquitous
  • Nefarious
  • Rotten
  • Sinful
  • Bad
  • Wrong
  • Villainous
  • Wicked
  • Vile
  • Vicious
  • Unrighteous
  • Dissolute
  • Censurable
  • Cruel
  • Infamous
  • Atrocious
  • Obscene

Antonyms Of “Immoral”

  • Decent
  • Ethical
  • Good
  • Honest
  • Honorable
  • Just
  • Moral
  • Right
  • Righteous
  • Sublime
  • Upright
  • Virtuous
  • Legal
  • Allowed
  • Correct
  • Clean
  • Permitted
  • Decorous
  • Incorruptible
  • Immaculate

Meaning Of “Amoral”

The word “amoral” is often confused with “immoral,” but an “amoral” person cannot understand what’s wrong or right, while an “immoral” person is someone who knows the difference between what’s good or evil.

Meaning Of “Unmoral”

Having the prefix “Un” means “not,” so the word “Unmoral” means having no moral perception. It could be a synonym of “amoral,” but “it is more used for non-human or inanimate things incapable of understanding right or wrong.

Meaning Of “Nonmoral”

Being “nonmoral” is not subject to morals, and morality is not taken into consideration. However, what you consider “moral,” other parties may consider it as “nonmoral,” for example, if you’ve been told not to move the TV from the wall, and you still do it, it may be considered nonmoral even though this action might not be “immoral” itself. 

Meaning Of “Moral”

Morality is always associated with or characterized by proper behavior and is also related to good conduct. To be concerned about the principles of what’s good and evil is known as “moral.”

List Of Immoral Acts

Knowing some of the most common immoral acts can allow us to better understand and use examples about this term.

  • Killing
  • Drug traffic
  • Use of drugs
  • Prostitution
  • Lying
  • Stealing
  • Violence
  • Extramarital intercourse
  • Gambling
  • Pornography

How To Use “Immoral” In A Sentence?

  1. You shouldn’t condemn him. There was nothing immoral about what he did.
  2. It was immoral of him to tell lies as he did.
  3. I told him all these incidents were illegal and immoral acts.
  4. Monica realized their relationship was immoral.
  5. Christians say God will judge the sexually immoral.
  6. Some people consider today’s music immoral.
  7. I don’t want them to think we were doing anything immoral.
  8. Some people like to go to places where they can do all the immoral things you can imagine.
  9. Mark thinks it is immoral to have sex before being married.
  10. It is immoral to become rich in a dark business.
  11. It’s immoral to steal from anybody.
  12. There’s nothing immoral about being in love.
  13. The police officer told her she was doing immoral things when he caught her.
  14. It’s immoral to sleep with someone who is not your wife.
  15. Most of the immoral acts seem to occur at night.
  16. It is considered immoral to dress improperly in public.

Meaning Of “Unethical”

The term unethical means a lack of principles or “ethics.” It is often related to professional or social standards. This term is similar to “immoral” since both words are derived from the word “ethics,” which is related to the obedience of conduct prepared to keep a group (primarily professional) from violating the rules or way of living.

unethical word spelled on paper

Etymology Of “Unethical”

The term “unethical” comes from the word “ethical,” having the “un” to refer to “no” or “without.” The word “ethical” comes from the Latin word “ethicus,” which means “moral” or “ethical,” it comes from the Ancient Greek word “ēthikós,” which means “moral nature” or “moral philosophy.”

Synonyms Of “Unethical”

  • Corrupt
  • Illegal
  • Improper
  • Unfair
  • Unprofessional
  • Unscrupulous
  • Wrong
  • Cheating
  • Crooked
  • Dirty
  • Fake
  • Fishy
  • Scam
  • Slick
  • Sneaky
  • Two-Faced
  • Dishonorable
  • Shady
  • Underhand
  • Unprincipled

Antonyms Of “Unethical”

  • Appropriate
  • Correct
  • Decent
  • Ethical
  • Good
  • Honest
  • Moral
  • Principled
  • Right
  • Suitable
  • Uncorrupt
  • Upright
  • Allowed
  • Approved
  • Clean
  • Exemplary
  • Legitimate
  • Creditable
  • Immaculate
  • Chaste

Meaning Of “Ethical”

The word “ethical” is related to moral principles and beliefs about the meaning of what is morally wrong or correct. It is under the rules or standards for good conduct or practice, especially the standards of a profession.

List Of Unethical Acts

The same terms we use for immoral acts can apply to unethical acts. Still, as unethical actions are also related to professional or social behavior, we want to bring some examples of ethical dilemmas that can be seen daily at work, school, or in a community:

  • An employee who steals money from the employer.
  • Students who take credit for work they didn’t do.
  • Selling a house and not revealing known defects to the buyers.
  • Twisting the information about the accident history when selling a car.
  • When a manager or supervisor uses their position to harass a subordinate sexually.
  • Taking money from your coworker’s wallet at the office.
  • Lying on a resume to get a position for a job.
  • To use your influence in a position to get earnings.
  • To talk badly about the company you’re working for.
  • Lie about your health status to miss a day of work.

How To Use The Word “Unethical” In A Sentence?

  1. It is unethical to discriminate against someone because of their culture or gender.
  2. Monica told me she would not go back to her doctor because of the unethical act she had experienced.
  3. Make sure to report any signs of unethical behavior, such as stealing.
  4. It would be unethical to handle dangerous medical experiments without the full approval of the participants.
  5. The BBB is the authority that handles unethical business practices by companies.
  6. Plagiarism is considered an unethical practice between writers.
  7. It is unethical to sell these kinds of products in this company.
  8. Dr. Moon told me it would be unethical for him to reveal my personal information.
  9. The manager disapproved of their unethical behavior.
  10. Today, we will see some videos about unethical professional conduct.
  11. Unethical behavior is something prevalent among politicians.
  12. Cheating on a test is considered unethical, and you could be suspended if you get caught.
  13. Although he got caught, he said he wasn’t doing anything unethical.
  14. Many of the students were doing unethical and illegal acts.
  15. Due to her uncommon way of working, she has been called an unethical person.

Final Thoughts

Knowing the difference between relevant terms will contrast with our habitual social circle. Words with significantly similar meanings may sometimes lead us to confusion, which would be the case for words such as “immoral” and “unethical.” They may have the same application with a slight and very thin difference, which is the context you’re using these terms in.

Shawn Manaher

By Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.