- The definition of conscience is a personal awareness of right and wrong that you use to guide your actions to do right.
An example of conscience is the personal ethics that keep you from cheating on an exam.
- a knowledge or sense of right and wrong, with an urge to do right; moral judgment that opposes the violation of a previously recognized ethical principle and that leads to feelings of guilt if one violates such a principle
- inner thoughts or feelings
Origin of conscienceOld French ; from Classical Latin conscientia, consciousness, moral sense ; from present participle of conscire ; from com-, with + scire, to know (see science): replacing Middle English inwit, knowledge within
in (all) conscience
on one's conscience
- a. An awareness of morality in regard to one's behavior; a sense of right and wrong that urges one to act morally: Let your conscience be your guide.b. A source of moral or ethical judgment or pronouncement: a document that serves as the nation's conscience.c. Conformity to one's own sense of right conduct: a person of unflagging conscience.
- The part of the superego in psychoanalysis that judges the ethical nature of one's actions and thoughts and then transmits such determinations to the ego for consideration.
- Obsolete Consciousness or awareness of something.
Origin of conscienceMiddle English, from Old French, from Latin cōnscientia, from cōnsciēns, cōnscient-, present participle of cōnscīre, to be conscious of : com-, intensive pref.; see com– + scīre, to know; see skei- in Indo-European roots.
- Adjectives often used with "conscience": good, bad, guilty.
- Phrases: To make conscience of, To make a matter of conscience, to act according to the dictates of conscience concerning (any matter), or to scruple to act contrary to its dictates.
From Old French conscience, from Latin conscientia (“knowledge within oneself”), from consciens, present participle of conscire (“to know, to be conscious (of wrong)”), from com- (“together”) + scire (“to know”).