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From Medieval Latin syntērēsis (in Thomas Aquinas), from Ancient Greek συντήρησις (suntḗrēsis, careful watching), from συντηρεῖν (suntēreîn, to keep guard).



synteresis (uncountable)

  1. (theology, historical) An aspect of one's conscience by which one can judge wrong from right and decide on what makes good conduct (as distinguished from syneidesis).
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, (please specify |partition=1, 2, or 3):
      , Bk.I, New York, 2001, p.166:
      Synteresis, or the purer part of the conscience, is an innate habit, and doth signify “a conservation of the knowledge of the law of God and Nature, to know good or evil”.