• synonyms


[streem-uh v-kon-shuh s-nis]
  1. of, relating to, or characterized by a manner of writing in which a character's thoughts or perceptions are presented as occurring in random form, without regard for logical sequences, syntactic structure, distinctions between various levels of reality, or the like: a stream-of-consciousness novel; a stream-of-consciousness technique.
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stream of consciousness

  1. Psychology. thought regarded as a succession of ideas and images constantly moving forward in time.
  2. interior monologue.
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Origin of stream of consciousness

First recorded in 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for stream-of-consciousness

stream of consciousness

  1. psychol the continuous flow of ideas, thoughts, and feelings forming the content of an individual's consciousness. The term was originated by William James
    1. a literary technique that reveals the flow of thoughts and feelings of characters through long passages of soliloquy
    2. (as modifier)a stream-of-consciousness novel
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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

stream-of-consciousness in Culture

stream of consciousness

A kind of writing that presents the thoughts of a person or character as they occur. Stream-of-consciousness writing uses devices such as characters speaking to themselves, free association, and lists of words. William Faulkner, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf wrote stream-of-consciousness novels.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.