- a moral or ethical consideration or standard that acts as a restraining force or inhibits certain actions.
- a very small portion or amount.
- a unit of weight equal to 20 grains (1.295 grams) or 1/3 of a dram, apothecaries' weight.
- an ancient Roman unit of weight equivalent to 1/24 of an ounce or 1/288 of an as or pound.Compare as2(def 2).
- to have scruples.
- to have scruples about; hesitate at.
Origin of scruple
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for scruple
Dick had no scruple in clasping that extended hand very warmly in his own.Within the Law
You need have no scruple to take charge of it; it relates not to myself.
I should make no scruple of frightening him within an inch of his life, for his good.
As this was an order, the mate did not scruple about obeying it.Homeward Bound
James Fenimore Cooper
"It is a scruple which up till now has been too strong for me," Wrayson remarked quietly.The Avenger
E. Phillips Oppenheim
- (often plural) a doubt or hesitation as to what is morally right in a certain situation
- archaic a very small amount
- a unit of weight equal to 20 grains (1.296 grams)
- an ancient Roman unit of weight equivalent to approximately one twenty-fourth of an ounce
- (obsolete when tr) to have doubts (about), esp for a moral reason
Word Origin and History for scruple
"moral misgiving, pang of conscience," late 14c., from Old French scrupule (14c.), from Latin scrupulus "uneasiness, anxiety, pricking of conscience," literally "small sharp stone," diminutive of scrupus "sharp stone or pebble," used figuratively by Cicero for a cause of uneasiness or anxiety, probably from the notion of having a pebble in one's shoe. The word in the more literal Latin sense of "small unit of weight or measurement" is attested in English from late 14c.
"to have or make scruples," 1620s, from scruple (n.). Related: Scrupled; scrupling.
- An uneasy feeling arising from conscience or principle that tends to hinder action.
- A unit of apothecary weight that is equal to about 1.3 grams, or 20 grains.
- A minute part or amount.