[ 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 subconsciousness

British Dictionary definitions for subconsciousness


/ (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 subconsciousness (1 of 2)


[ sŭb-kŏnshəs-nĭs ]


The state in which mental processes take place without the conscious perception of the individual.

Medicine definitions for subconsciousness (2 of 2)


[ 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.

Culture definitions for subconsciousness


The part of the psyche just below consciousness and capable of bursting into consciousness. For example, a repressed sexual desire is part of our subconsciousness, although we may at some time become conscious of it.


The subconscious is not the same as the unconscious. Blinking, for example, is usually unconscious and occasionally conscious, but never subconscious.
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.