Last modified on 28 October 2014, at 06:25

conscience

EnglishEdit

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EtymologyEdit

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).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

conscience (plural consciences)

  1. The moral sense of right and wrong, chiefly as it affects one's own behaviour.
    • 1949, Albert Einstein, as quoted by Virgil Henshaw in Albert Einstein: Philosopher Scientist,
      Never do anything against conscience, even if the state demands it.
    • 1951, Isaac Asimov, Foundation (1974 Panther Books Ltd publication), part V: “The Merchant Princes”, chapter 14, page 175, ¶ 7
      [“]Twer is not a friend of mine testifying against me reluctantly and for conscience’ sake, as the prosecution would have you believe. He is a spy, performing his paid job.[”]
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 18, The China Governess[1]:
      ‘Then the father has a great fight with his terrible conscience,’ said Munday with granite seriousness. ‘Should he make a row with the police […]? Or should he say nothing about it and condone brutality for fear of appearing in the newspapers?
  2. (chiefly fiction) A personification of the moral sense of right and wrong, usually in the form of a person, a being or merely a voice that gives moral lessons and advices.
  3. (obsolete) Consciousness; thinking; awareness, especially self-awareness.
    • 1603, William Shakespeare, Hamlet, act 3, sc. 1,
      Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
      And thus the native hue of resolution
      Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought.

Usage notesEdit

  • 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.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowing 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).

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /kɔ̃.sjɑ̃s/
  • (file)
  • Homophone: consciences
  • Hyphenation: con‧science

NounEdit

conscience f (plural consciences)

  1. conscience
  2. consciousness

AntonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit


Old FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowing from Latin conscientia (knowledge within oneself).

NounEdit

conscience f (oblique plural consciences, nominative singular conscience, nominative plural consciences)

  1. conscience