- When you believe it is immoral to lie and you hesitate before lying because of this belief, this is an example of a time when you have scruples about lying.
- When you only have a tiny piece of cake, this is an example of a portion which is a scruple.
- a very small quantity, amount, or part
- an ancient Roman unit of weight equal to ounce
- a unit of weight equal to dram apothecaries' weight or 20 grains (1.296 grams): abbrev. sc
- a feeling of hesitancy, doubt, or uneasiness arising from difficulty in deciding what is right, proper, ethical, etc.; qualm or misgiving about something one thinks is wrong
- high ethical standards
Origin of scrupleMiddle French scrupule ; from Classical Latin scrupulus, small sharp stone (hence small weight, difficulty, doubt), diminutive of scrupus, sharp stone ; from Indo-European an unverified form skreup- ; from base an unverified form (s)ker-, to cut
- An uneasy feeling arising from conscience or principle that tends to hinder action: “He would have taken any life with as little scruple as he took my money” (Charles Dickens).
- A unit of apothecary weight equal to about 1.3 grams, or 20 grains.
- A minute part or amount.
intransitive verbscru·pled, scru·pling, scru·ples
Origin of scrupleMiddle English scrupul, from Old French scrupule, from Latin scr&umacron;pulus, small unit of measurement, scruple, diminutive of scr&umacron;pus, rough stone, scruple.
- Hesitation as to action from the difficulty of determining what is right or expedient; unwillingness, doubt, or hesitation proceeding from motives of conscience.
- He was made miserable by the conflict between his tastes and his scruples. - Thomas Babington Macaulay.
- A measurement of time. Hebrew culture broke the hour into 1080 scruples.
(third-person singular simple present scruples, present participle scrupling, simple past and past participle scrupled)
- (intransitive) To be reluctant or to hesitate, as regards an action, on account of considerations of conscience or expedience.
- We are often over-precise, scrupling to say or do those things which lawfully we may. - Thomas Fuller.
- Men scruple at the lawfulness of a set form of divine worship. - Robert South.
- To regard with suspicion; to hesitate at; to question.
- Others long before them ... scrupled more the books of hereties than of gentiles. - John Milton.
- To excite scruples in; to cause to scruple.
- Letters which did still scruple many of them. -E. Symmons.
From Latin scrÅ«pulus (“uneasiness of mind, trouble, anxiety, doubt, scruple, literally a small sharp or pointed stone, the twenty-fourth part of an ounce"), diminutive of scrÅ«pus (“a rough or sharp stone, anxiety, uneasiness"); perhaps akin to Ancient Greek ÏƒÎºÏÏÎ¿Ï‚ (skuros, “the chippings of stone"), Î¾Ï…ÏÏŒÎ½ (ksuron, “a razor"), Sanskrit à¤•à¥à¤·à¥à¤° (ká¹£ura, “a razor"): compare French scrupule.