Borrowed 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”).
- The moral sense of right and wrong, chiefly as it affects one's own behaviour.
Your conscience is your highest authority.
- 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, in The China Governess:
- ‘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?
- (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.
- (obsolete) Consciousness; thinking; awareness, especially self-awareness.
- 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.
- conscience in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- conscience in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
From Old French conscience, borrowed 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”).
conscience f (plural consciences)
- “conscience” in le Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).
- cunscience (Anglo-Norman)
la conscience ne remort point a ces riches homme
- the conscience doesn't bite these rich men