- 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
Examples from the Web for consciences
But for Reynolds and Robbins, obeying their consciences came with a price tag.Why the Rockefellers Rejected Big Oil
September 24, 2014
We were told to fear these hooded men and so many of us threw away our 9/10/2001 consciences.You, Too, Could Be a Homicidal Zealot
July 7, 2014
So what about this idea that not only are corporations people, but people with consciences?Contraception Looks Like a Loser at the Supreme Court
March 25, 2014
First, the Court will have to decide that corporations are not only people, but people with consciences.
Second, the view that corporations have consciences is incoherent.
Let us aim to be able to put them often to our consciences without a blush.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I
Francis Augustus Cox
Remembering what they had just heard, the boys' consciences had begun to suffer already.The Channings
Mrs. Henry Wood
If Godwin had pricked men's consciences, Malthus brought the balm.Shelley, Godwin and Their Circle
H. N. Brailsford
All consciences ceded to its voice, and were directed by its influence.Roman Catholicism in Spain
But here the result of heathenism seems to be to destroy men's consciences.Things as They Are
- 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 consciences
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 consciences
see have a clear conscience; in conscience.