A victory that occurs when a person, team, or army loses a confrontation yet achieves some other moral gain. This gain might be unrelated to the battle in question; however, the gain is often considerably less than what would have been accomplished if the main battle had been won; otherwise, the result would be characterized as either a "wash" or a proper victory.
A sports team that loses fairly to a cheating team might claim a moral victory in spite of the loss.
What Alabama fans claim after they lose a football game.
Don't worry guys about getting blasted by Florida and then getting embarrassed by Utah in our bowl game because they are both moral victories.