- the state of being conscious; awareness of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.
- the thoughts and feelings, collectively, of an individual or of an aggregate of people: the moral consciousness of a nation.
- full activity of the mind and senses, as in waking life: to regain consciousness after fainting.
- awareness of something for what it is; internal knowledge: consciousness of wrongdoing.
- concern, interest, or acute awareness: class consciousness.
- the mental activity of which a person is aware as contrasted with unconscious mental processes.
- Philosophy. the mind or the mental faculties as characterized by thought, feelings, and volition.
- raise one's consciousness, to increase one's awareness and understanding of one's own needs, behavior, attitudes, etc., especially as a member of a particular social or political group.
Origin of consciousness
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for consciousness
As soon as the criminal left the shop, the victim snapped back into consciousness and tried to chase after him.Thief Hypnotizes Shopkeeper, Then Robs Him
December 5, 2014
However we strain to distract ourselves, our consciousness of death heightens our awareness of evil.McConaughey’s ‘Stand’—And Ours
December 5, 2014
While he was in a coma for seven days, his consciousness entered a series of transcendent realms.Eben Alexander Has a GPS for Heaven
October 8, 2014
Nothing but a poetic kind of consciousness could have conceived of anything like this.Stephen King, “Falling,” and My Father’s Poetry
September 14, 2014
Ellie Black rouses quietly to consciousness at around 3, her eyes unfocused, mind placid.Knocking on Heaven's Door: True Stories of Unexplained, Uncanny Experiences at the Hour of Death
August 11, 2014
The consciousness of recent misconduct filled her with extreme dread.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
The allusion and a consciousness of Vancouver brought a smile into Viviette's eyes.Viviette
William J. Locke
Our very fear of the death-principle admits it into our consciousness.
Yet the consciousness of my situation does not always make me sad.Fragments from The Journal of a Solitary Man
Admitted into our consciousness it starts its work of killing us.
Word Origin and History for consciousness
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- The state or condition of being conscious.
- A sense of one's personal or collective identity, especially the complex of attitudes, beliefs, and sensitivities held by or considered characteristic of an individual or a group.
- In psychoanalysis, the conscious.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.