From Latin cōnscius, itself from con- (a form of com- (together)) + scīre (to know) + -us.



conscious (comparative more conscious, superlative most conscious)

  1. Alert, awake; with one's mental faculties active.
    The noise woke me, but it was another few minutes before I was fully conscious.
  2. Aware of one's own existence; aware of one's own awareness.
    • 1999, Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, Hodder and Stoughton, pages 61–62:
      The best indicator of your level of consciousness is how you deal with life's challenges when they come.  Through those challenges, an already unconscious person tends to become more deeply unconscious, and a conscious person more intensely conscious.
    Only highly intelligent beings can be fully conscious.
  3. Aware of, sensitive to; observing and noticing, or being strongly interested in or concerned about.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 5, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      Here, in the transept and choir, where the service was being held, one was conscious every moment of an increasing brightness; colours glowing vividly beneath the circular chandeliers, and the rows of small lights on the choristers' desks flashed and sparkled in front of the boys' faces, deep linen collars, and red neckbands.
    • 1945 August 17, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter 6, in Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, London: Secker & Warburg, OCLC 3655473:
      Once again the animals were conscious of a vague uneasiness.
    • 1955, Arthur Smithies, The Budgetary Process in the United States, page 290:
      Furthermore, the military operator is far less conscious of budgetary constraints than is the civilian consumer.
    I was conscious of a noise behind me.   a very class-conscious analysis
  4. Deliberate, intentional, done with awareness of what one is doing.
    • 1907, Brigham Henry Roberts, Defense of the Faith and the Saints, volume 1, page 43:
      He candidly confesses that it is an effort to account for Joseph Smith upon some other hypothesis than that he was a conscious fraud, bent on deceiving mankind.
    • 2015, Jamie Kornegay, Soil: A Novel, page 214:
      Start fresh, try and learn from past mistakes, make a conscious effort to be a better person.
  5. Known or felt personally, internally by a person.
    conscious guilt
  6. Self-conscious.
    • 1616—1650, Richard Crashaw:
      The conscious water saw its God, and blushed.


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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


conscious (plural consciouses)

  1. The part of the mind that is aware of itself; the consciousness.