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mo·res (môrāz, -ēz)
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pl.n.
1. The accepted traditional customs and usages of a particular social group.
2. Moral attitudes.
3. Manners; ways.

[Latin mōrēs, pl. of mōs, custom; see mē-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

Usage Note: Although educated 19th-century speakers of English would pronounce mores as (môrēz) according to the customary pronunciation of Latin in English-speaking countries at that time, 75 percent of the Usage Panel in 2005 found this same pronunciation unacceptable (although 5 percent actually preferred it). Nowadays, the accepted pronunciation is (môrāz), with a long a as in days and a (z) sound at the end. It is incorrect to pronounce it as a single syllable (môrz), and the pronunciation ending with an (s) sound, which more closely resembles the way the Latin word was actually pronounced by the Romans, may sound pretentious.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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