A prominent trend in moral philosophy today is the interest in the rich textures of actual human practices and lives. This has prompted engagements with other disciplines, such as anthropology, history, literature, law and empirical science, which have produced various forms of contextual ethics . These engagements motivate reflections on why and how context is important ethically, and such metaethical reflection is what this article undertakes. Inspired by the work of the later Wittgenstein and the Danish theologian K.E. Løgstrup, I first describe one of the ways in which context plays a central role with regard to ethical meaning and normativity. I then examine how ‘context’ is to be defined, and finally I discuss some of the questions which arise when giving context prominence in ethics – namely, how to delimit the scope of relevant context, the relevant traits of a particular context and what ‘the ethical’ is.