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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, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, 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”.