conscience

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

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).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

conscience (plural consciences)

  1. The moral sense of right and wrong, chiefly as it affects one's own behaviour; inwit.
    • 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 notes[edit]

  • 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.

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Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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External links[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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).

Pronunciation[edit]

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

Noun[edit]

conscience f (plural consciences)

  1. conscience
  2. consciousness

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]


Old French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from Latin conscientia (knowledge within oneself).

Noun[edit]

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

  1. conscience