- the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one's conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action: to follow the dictates of conscience.
- the complex of ethical and moral principles that controls or inhibits the actions or thoughts of an individual.
- an inhibiting sense of what is prudent: I'd eat another piece of pie but my conscience would bother me.
- Obsolete. consciousness; self-knowledge.
- Obsolete. strict and reverential observance.
- have something on one's conscience, to feel guilty about something, as an act that one considers wrong: She behaves as if she had something on her conscience.
- in all conscience,
- in all reason and fairness.
- certainly; assuredly.
Origin of conscience
- the sense of right and wrong that governs a person's thoughts and actions
- regulation of one's actions in conformity to this sense
- a supposed universal faculty of moral insight
- conscientiousness; diligence
- a feeling of guilt or anxietyhe has a conscience about his unkind action
- obsolete consciousness
- in conscience or in all conscience
- with regard to truth and justice
- on one's conscience causing feelings of guilt or remorse
Word Origin and History for in conscience
early 13c., from Old French conscience "conscience, innermost thoughts, desires, intentions; feelings" (12c.), from Latin conscientia "knowledge within oneself, sense of right, a moral sense," from conscientem (nominative consciens), present participle of conscire "be (mutually) aware," from com- "with," or "thoroughly" (see com-) + scire "to know" (see science).
Probably a loan-translation of Greek syneidesis, literally "with-knowledge." Sometimes nativized in Old English/Middle English as inwit. Russian also uses a loan-translation, so-vest, "conscience," literally "with-knowledge."
- The awareness of a moral or ethical aspect to one's conduct together with the urge to prefer right over wrong.
- The part of the superego that judges the ethical nature of one's actions and thoughts and then transmits such determinations to the ego for consideration.
Idioms and Phrases with in conscience
Also, in all good conscience. In all truth or fairness, as in I can't in conscience say that the meeting went well, or In all good conscience we can't support their stand on disarmament. [Late 1500s]