[ self-kon-shuhs, self- ]
See synonyms for self-conscious on
  1. excessively aware of being observed by others.

  2. conscious of oneself or one's own being.

Origin of self-conscious

First recorded in 1670–80

Other words from self-conscious

  • self-con·scious·ly, adverb
  • self-con·scious·ness, noun

Words Nearby self-conscious Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use self-conscious in a sentence

  • For the first time in his life Gwynne felt self-conscious in putting his arm about a woman's waist for the waltz.

    Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
  • He possessed the same personal charm as Tchaikovsky, but was far more sophisticated and self-conscious.

  • For the first time in her life she was self-conscious: I will wait for a more opportune time to tell him, she thought.

    The Fifth String   | John Philip Sousa
  • She was tall and stately, but I thought she walked too stiffly; she seemed self-conscious and artificial.

    Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist | Alexander Berkman
  • So that she looked up at her aunt in happy freedom from any self-conscious embarrassment.

    Robin Redbreast | Mary Louisa Molesworth

British Dictionary definitions for self-conscious


  1. unduly aware of oneself as the object of the attention of others; embarrassed

  2. conscious of one's existence

Derived forms of self-conscious

  • self-consciously, adverb
  • self-consciousness, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012