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conscience money

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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for conscience money
Historical Examples
  • But you don't have to be satisfied with his conscience money any more.

    By Proxy Gordon Randall Garrett
  • The United States treasury yearly receives large sums of “conscience money.”

    The Ways of Men Eliot Gregory
  • I only ordered the oysters and coffee; all the rest is conscience money—or sentiment—from the landlord.

    A Modern Instance William Dean Howells
  • To a certain extent this was what we should now call "conscience money."

    The Story of Florence Edmund G. Gardner
  • Really the conscience money Mania is becoming quite a nuisance.

  • Before he left, Aunt William pressed a sovereign into his hand guiltily, as if it were conscience money.

    The Twelfth Hour Ada Leverson
British Dictionary definitions for conscience money

conscience money

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
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