Definition of moeurs in English:


plural noun

  • The customs and conventions characteristic of a society or community.

    ‘a genuine respect for the customs and moeurs of others’
    • ‘Tocqueville's discussion of religious moeurs in the second volume of Democracy in America sets the stage for Gauchet's contention that the essential nature of modern European democracy is an endless dispute over legitimacy.’
    • ‘Quite apart from the acquisition of particular knowledge about history and the shifting of moeurs that students, at all levels, derive from steady intensive reading, students also acquire subtle cognitive habits which would otherwise be unavailable to them.’
    • ‘Now, this is a kind of 'tolerance' which wasn't really discussed by John Gray in his Two Faces of Liberalism, and it is a tolerance that is not only ethnocentric but has nothing at all to do with any genuine respect for the customs and moeurs of others.’
    • ‘The full Glyndebourne staging is scenically rich and elaborate; Kent and Brown make no attempt to re-create seventeenth century operatic moeurs but instead find modern versions of them.’
    • ‘Leroy-Beaulieu placed an emphasis on informal means of colonization, defining the latter concept as 'the subjection of the universe or a vast part of it to [a nation's] language, moeurs, ideas, and laws'.’
    • ‘Alexis de Tocqueville's two-volume study De la democratie en Amerique, published in 1835 and 1840, made no mention of balloting procedures, despite providing an otherwise comprehensive examination of American political culture and the moeurs that sustained it.’
    • ‘His first year at the helm was an unprecedented success that resulted in three long-running hits—Gurney's examination of WASP moeurs, ‘The Dining Room’, Durang's scathing ‘Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You’ and Jonathan Reynolds's satire of Hollywood egomania, ‘Geniuses’.’


Mid 19th century French, from Latin mores (see mores).