[ suhb-kon-shuh s ]
/ sʌbˈkɒn ʃəs /


existing or operating in the mind beneath or beyond consciousness: the subconscious self.Compare preconscious, unconscious.
imperfectly or not wholly conscious: subconscious motivations.


the totality of mental processes of which the individual is not aware; unreportable mental activities.

Origin of subconscious

First recorded in 1825–35; sub- + conscious

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for subconscious

British Dictionary definitions for subconscious


/ (sʌbˈkɒnʃəs) /


acting or existing without one's awarenesssubconscious motive


psychoanal that part of the mind which is on the fringe of consciousness and contains material of which it is possible to become aware by redirecting attentionCompare preconscious (def. 2), unconscious (def. 5)

Derived Forms

subconsciously, adverbsubconsciousness, 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

Medicine definitions for subconscious


[ sŭb-kŏnshəs ]


Not wholly conscious; partially or imperfectly conscious.


The part of the mind below the level of conscious perception.

Related forms

sub•conscious•ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.