Share this entry

unconscious Line breaks: un|con¦scious
Pronunciation: /ʌnˈkɒnʃəs/

Definition of unconscious in English:


1Not awake and aware of and responding to one’s environment: [as complement]: the boy was beaten unconscious
More example sentences
  • There was no way that he and Poe could face what came next while trying to manage and unconscious body as well.
  • A few minutes later she sat beside his unconscious body on the couch, just looking at him.
  • They carried two poles which they began lashing onto the reed mat beneath David's unconscious body.
stunned, dazed, stupefied, torpid, befuddled, benumbed, numb;
collapsed, keeled over, motionless, immobile, prostrate
British informal spark out
rare soporose, soporous
2Done or existing without one realizing: he would wipe back his hair in an unconscious gesture of annoyance
More example sentences
  • The court system still seems to have an automatic and perhaps unconscious reflex to tell people the minimum necessary.
  • Zander dismissed the statement with a wave of his hand, an almost unconscious gesture.
  • Val went on to name the other men and Scott's hand went to his right temple in an unconscious gesture.
uncalculating, chance;
natural, innate, inherent, unlearned, instinctive, automatic, mechanical, reflex, involuntary, knee-jerk, uncontrolled, spontaneous, subliminal, subconscious, latent, suppressed, sleeping, deep
informal gut, bottled up
2.1 (unconscious of) Unaware of: ‘What is it?’ he said again, unconscious of the repetition
More example sentences
  • It is the Canadian federal government's aim - though they may be unconscious of it - to hasten the day when no tree is left to cut, and all jobs, and the communities they sustain, collapse.
  • I was in Mexico a few weeks ago, blithely unconscious of the Zapatistas.
  • Though unconscious of them, such memories are claimed to be significant causal factors in shaping conscious thought and behavior.


(the unconscious) Back to top  
The part of the mind which is inaccessible to the conscious mind but which affects behaviour and emotions: horrific apparitions surfaced out of the recesses of his unconscious
More example sentences
  • Cognitive scientist Guy Claxton has unearthed the unconscious throughout history.
  • I had stumbled upon the historical counterpart of my psychology of the unconscious.
  • I believe that writer and analyst are seeking forms or elements in common which come from the unconscious.
subconscious mind, subconscious, unconscious mind, psyche, ego, superego, id, inner self, innermost self, self, inner man/woman



Example sentences
  • Becca pouted at him, unconsciously and most likely unintentionally jabbing an elbow in his gut.
  • Whether consciously or unconsciously, in incident after incident they have been giving themselves away.
  • It is simply a question of a country, perhaps unconsciously, following the wrong policies.

Definition of unconscious in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day innocuous
Pronunciation: iˈnäkyo͞oəs
not harmful or offensive