[suhb-kon-shuh s]


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 formssub·con·scious·ly, adverbsub·con·scious·ness, nounnon·sub·con·scious, adjectivenon·sub·con·scious·ly, adverbnon·sub·con·scious·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for subconsciously

Contemporary Examples of subconsciously

Historical Examples of subconsciously

  • Subconsciously his busy ego was finding solace after last night's rebuff.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • And yet subconsciously he knew that all the time he was creating her there had been before him a vision of Jane.

  • But Vere was surely suffering, subconsciously, because of Hermione.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • But subconsciously there ran an undercurrent of dread insecurity.

  • Subconsciously, perhaps, she recorded a possible second string to her bow.

    The Innocent Adventuress

    Mary Hastings Bradley

British Dictionary definitions for subconsciously



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 Formssubconsciously, 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

Word Origin and History for subconsciously



1823, "not wholly conscious" (implied in subconsciously), from sub- + conscious. First attested in De Quincey. The noun, in the psychological sense, is attested from 1886; earlier subconsciousness (1874).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

subconsciously in Medicine




Not wholly conscious; partially or imperfectly conscious.


The part of the mind below the level of conscious perception.
Related formssub•conscious•ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.