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subconscious

[suhb-kon-shuh s]
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adjective
  1. existing or operating in the mind beneath or beyond consciousness: the subconscious self.Compare preconscious, unconscious.
  2. imperfectly or not wholly conscious: subconscious motivations.
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noun
  1. the totality of mental processes of which the individual is not aware; unreportable mental activities.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for subconsciousness

Historical Examples

  • It comes out of a subconsciousness in which death and not life is the base.

    The Conquest of Fear

    Basil King

  • They form a part, not of consciousness, but of subconsciousness.

  • His subconsciousness was very powerfully alive in these days.

  • Access to the subconsciousness is becoming commoner and simpler.

    Ghosts I Have Seen

    Violet Tweedale

  • The experience sank into the subconsciousness as seed to await fruition.

    The Brownings

    Lilian Whiting


British Dictionary definitions for subconsciousness

subconscious

adjective
  1. acting or existing without one's awarenesssubconscious motive
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noun
  1. 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)
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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 subconsciousness

subconscious

adj.

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

subconsciousness in Medicine

subconsciousness

(sŭb-kŏnshəs-nĭs)
n.
  1. The state in which mental processes take place without the conscious perception of the individual.
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subconscious

(sŭb-kŏnshəs)
adj.
  1. Not wholly conscious; partially or imperfectly conscious.
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n.
  1. The part of the mind below the level of conscious perception.
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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.

subconsciousness in Culture

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.

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Note

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.