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.
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