Definition of conscience in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkän(t)SHəns/


An inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior: he had a guilty conscience about his desires Ben was suffering a pang of conscience
More example sentences
  • Does God create human beings with a conscience and moral reasoning powers and then leave them alone?
  • He could touch if he wanted to, and he did want to, so badly, but his conscience knew it was wrong.
  • The common people, whose consciences are still alert, are the wheat.
sense of right and wrong, moral sense, inner voice;
morals, standards, values, principles, ethics, beliefs;
compunction, scruples, qualms



in (good) conscience

By any reasonable standard; by all that is fair: they have in conscience done all they could
More example sentences
  • But I don't understand a man who has been supportive of the administration's policies, and who has reached a decision in conscience, should be treated like this by anyone in this country.
  • ‘I marvel sometimes at the steadfastness of the whole Catholic body, at the discipline and obedience and love it has shown under a very demanding pope, the maturity of the decisions it makes in conscience,’ he wrote.
  • Those who in conscience cannot obey United Methodist Church law, law that has been confirmed once again to represent the mind of the church, should practice ecclesial disobedience, not civil disobedience.

on one's conscience

Weighing heavily and guiltily on one’s mind: an act of providence had prevented him from having a death on his conscience
More example sentences
  • But you immediately chose Hell as the one to which yours belongs, so I'm inclined to conclude, sir, that something must weigh very heavily on your conscience.
  • The matter weighed on his conscience heavily, but he knew no other way of dealing with it.
  • The consequences of her actions weighed heavily on her conscience, but she refused to feel guilty.



Pronunciation: /ˈkänSH(ə)nsləs/
Example sentences
  • The conscienceless exploitation of the disadvantaged is something that every decent American should be concerned with.
  • One can no longer argue that human suffering is certain and preordained without being judged conscienceless, even inhuman.
  • To all you knuckle headed, conscienceless conservatives out there, read my first post again and allow yourself to ask the obvious question.


Middle English (also in the sense 'inner thoughts or knowledge'): via Old French from Latin conscientia, from conscient- 'being privy to', from the verb conscire, from con- 'with' + scire 'know'.

  • science from Middle English:

    Originally science was knowledge in general, or any branch of knowledge, including the arts, and the word is from Latin scire ‘to know’ (also found in conscience (Middle English) ‘inner knowledge’ and nice). The restricted modern sense of science, concentrating on the physical and natural world, dates from the 18th century. Science fiction was first mentioned in 1851, but this was an isolated use, and the term did not become common until the end of the 1920s, when US ‘pulp’ magazines (so called because of the cheap paper they were printed on) like Astounding Stories carried tales of space adventure. Before science fiction was coined the stories of writers such as Jules Verne were called scientific fiction or scientifiction.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·science

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