- 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
Related Words for conscienceshame, duty, compunction, morals, censor, demur, superego, principles, scruples
Examples from the Web for conscience
Contemporary Examples of conscience
Better to be a beggar in freedom,” he cried out, “than to be forced into compromises against my conscience.
Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Oskar Schindler—these names come readily to mind when we think of heroes of conscience.
As you put it, “letting some business owners exercise their conscience would cause no harm to gays.”Do LGBTs Owe Christians an Olive Branch? Try The Other Way Around
December 14, 2014
Fellow Kurdish prisoners of conscience in other cities across Iran have followed suit.Remembering Iran’s Imprisoned Kurds on UN Human Rights Day
Sharif Behruz, Movements.Org
December 10, 2014
At Big Apple Circus, a set of camels is as exotic as it gets, so your conscience can remain unsullied.How the Circus Got a Social Conscience
November 7, 2014
Historical Examples of conscience
Here stands its Government, aware of its might but obedient to its conscience.
The distinctive principle of the book was that the State had a conscience.
But as Mr. Gladstone was then, so he has been all his life—the very Quixote of conscience.
In our own single manhood to be bold, Fortressed in conscience and impregnable.'
Yes, indeed; I got more by that means, than I should have had the conscience to ask.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
- 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 for conscience
Word Origin and History for 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 conscience
see have a clear conscience; in conscience.