Difference Between Amoral and Immoral

Main Difference – Amoral vs Immoral

Both amoral and immoral are words that are related to morality – the distinction between right and wrong.  However, these two words should not be interchanged since they have distinctly different meanings. Amoral refers to the lack of a moral sense or disregard of a moral sense whereas immoral refers to not conforming to the accepted standards of morality. This is the main difference between amoral and immoral. We’ll discuss this difference in more detail in this article.

Amoral – Meaning and Usage

Amoral is defined in the Oxford dictionary as “Lacking a moral sense; unconcerned with the rightness or wrongness of something”. As this definition suggests, amoral indicates an absence of moral sensibility or indifference to morality. Amoral can also be defined as being neither moral nor immoral; this term shows a neutral position towards morality.

When someone does something without thinking about its rightness or wrongness, we can say that it is an amoral action. Small children also have no sense of morality since they cannot distinguish the difference between right and wrong.

This position requires someone with an amoral attitude.

They claimed that were amoral, a mere intermediary between sellers and buyers.

Technological developments have made our lives amoral.

Her amoral attitude towards sex proved out to be her downfall.

This word also has interesting roots. Amoral is made by combining Greek privative prefix a- “not” to Latin “moral”. This word was first used in English by the author Robert Louis Stephenson as a differentiation from immoral.Difference Between Amoral and Immoral

Immoral – Meaning and Usage

Immoral is the opposite of moral and means not conforming to the accepted standards of morality. Immoral refers to the deliberately breaking of rules between right and wrong. Immoral conveys a negative sense and when used as to describe a person, immoral means wicked, cruel, unethical, or evil. An immoral person knows the difference between right and wrong but chooses not to adhere to the moral principles. Thus, villains in films, novels and even cartoon can be described as immoral. The following examples will help you to understand the meaning and usage of this word better.

His immoral and unethical conduct repulsed them.

Mr. Duruy was portrayed as an immoral fiend who killed women and children.

Don’t you think cheating is immoral and unethical?

Many people argue that abortions are immoral.

Main Difference -Amoral vs Immoral

“Violence against women is the last refuge of disgusting immoral men.”― Kristian Goldmund Aumann

Difference Between Amoral and Immoral


Amoral means lacking a moral sense or indifference to morality.

Immoral means not conforming to the accepted standards of morality.


Amoral indicates a neutral position towards morality.

Immoral indicates negative implications.


Amoral can be used in relation to small children, people with cognitive disorders, etc.

Immoral can be used to describe wicked, cruel, unethical people.


Amoral was introduced to language in the 19th century.

Immoral has a longer history than amoral.Difference Between Amoral and Immoral - infographic

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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