(1)A system of moral principles.(Dictionary.com 2011)
(2)The rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: e.g. medical ethics; Christian ethics; [engineering ethics]. (Dictionary.com 2011)
(3)Moral principles, as of an individual: e.g. His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence. (Dictionary.com 2011)
(4)The discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation. (Merriam-Webster 2011)
Dictionary.com. s.v. "Ethics." Accessed July 18, 2011, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ethics
Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. s.v. "Ethics." accessed July 18, 2011, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ethics
Distinguishing between ethics and morals can seem a bit difficult. Though the two ideas are extremely closely-related, there is still a relatively simple way to keep the distinction clear. The idea of morals or morality relates closely to one's personal character and is the result of our upbringing, schooling, family and other influences leading us to know the difference between right and wrong. The term ethics, on the other hand draws more upon the idea of standards or codes of behavior. An individual's ethical responsibilities are significantly related to and guided by her profession or role in life.