- 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 for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for scruples
Mengele has neither doubts about his hideous purpose or scruples about his heinous past.Holocaust Horrors Haunt the Films ‘Ida’ And ‘The German Doctor’
May 12, 2014
Had it been anybody but Tessie I should not have bothered my head about scruples.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
"It was Captain Haley that tied me here," said Robert, his scruples removed.Brave and Bold
All your scruples, you see, have met with an indulgence truly maternal from me.
You see, my dear, he scruples not to speak of himself, as his enemies speak of him.
I'm afraid my scruples vanished when I got him before my easel.The Greater Inclination
But he was now becoming uneasy, scruples were tingeing his reverie with anxiety.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
- (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 scruples
"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.