Definition of conscience in English:

conscience

Line breaks: con|science
Pronunciation: /ˈkɒnʃ(ə)ns
 
/

noun

A person’s moral sense of right and wrong, viewed as acting as a guide to one’s behaviour: he had a guilty conscience about his desires [mass noun]: 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.
Synonyms
sense of right and wrong, sense of right, moral sense, still small voice, inner voice, voice within; morals, standards, values, principles, ethics, creed, beliefs; compunction, scruples, qualms

Origin

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'.

Phrases

in (all) conscience

Given the fact that this is probably wrong; in fairness: how can we in all conscience justify the charging of fees for such a service?
More example sentences
  • How could the council, in all conscience, have made an application to cull knowing that the only method previously tried to control the geese was asking people in the park not to feed them?
  • And where, in all conscience, should they move on to?
  • Britain's fishing ministers should, in all conscience, have accepted the total closure of the North Sea for the protection of threatened fish stocks.

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.

Derivatives

conscienceless

adjective
More 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.

More definitions of conscience

Definition of conscience in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day semblance
Pronunciation: ˈsembləns
noun
the outward appearance or apparent form of something…