- money paid, often anonymously, to relieve one's conscience, as for an obligation previously evaded or a wrong done.
Origin of conscience money
First recorded in 1840–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for conscience money
"Conscience-money," said Mr. Bonnithorne, pursing up his mouth.A Son of Hagar</p>
Sir Hall Caine
It's like conscience-money—you know what that is, don't you?New Treasure Seekers</p>
E. (Edith) Nesbit
Next in importance to it were Mr. Baldwin's revelations on the subject of "conscience-money."
Some of the furniture he kept for himself; but the bulk of it went to his sister as conscience-money.At Sunwich Port, Complete
There are over two hundred thousand dollars in securities and they have evidently been left there by somebody as conscience-money.The Crevice</p>
William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander
- money paid voluntarily to compensate for dishonesty, esp money paid voluntarily for taxes formerly evaded
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012