Conscience
Conscience Con"science, n. [F. conscience, fr. L. conscientia, fr. consciens, p. pr. of conscire to know, to be conscious; con- + scire to know. See {Science}.] 1. Knowledge of one's own thoughts or actions; consciousness. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

The sweetest cordial we receive, at last, Is conscience of our virtuous actions past. --Denham. [1913 Webster]

2. The faculty, power, or inward principle which decides as to the character of one's own actions, purposes, and affections, warning against and condemning that which is wrong, and approving and prompting to that which is right; the moral faculty passing judgment on one's self; the moral sense. [1913 Webster]

My conscience hath a thousand several tongues, And every tongue brings in a several tale, And every tale condemns me for a villain. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

As science means knowledge, conscience etymologically means self-knowledge . . . But the English word implies a moral standard of action in the mind as well as a consciousness of our own actions. . . . Conscience is the reason, employed about questions of right and wrong, and accompanied with the sentiments of approbation and condemnation. --Whewell. [1913 Webster]

3. The estimate or determination of conscience; conviction or right or duty. [1913 Webster]

Conscience supposes the existence of some such [i.e., moral] faculty, and properly signifies our consciousness of having acted agreeably or contrary to its directions. --Adam Smith. [1913 Webster]

4. Tenderness of feeling; pity. [Obs.] --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

{Conscience clause}, a clause in a general law exempting persons whose religious scruples forbid compliance therewith, -- as from taking judicial oaths, rendering military service, etc.

{Conscience money}, stolen or wrongfully acquired money that is voluntarily restored to the rightful possessor. Such money paid into the United States treasury by unknown debtors is called the Conscience fund.

{Court of Conscience}, a court established for the recovery of small debts, in London and other trading cities and districts. [Eng.] --Blackstone.

{In conscience}, {In all conscience}, in deference or obedience to conscience or reason; in reason; reasonably. ``This is enough in conscience.'' --Howell. ``Half a dozen fools are, in all conscience, as many as you should require.'' --Swift.

{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. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

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  • Conscience — conscience …   Philosophy dictionary

  • CONSCIENCE — Le mot latin conscientia est naturellement décomposé en «cum scientia». Cette étymologie suggère non seulement la connaissance de l’objet par le sujet, mais que cet objet fait toujours référence au sujet lui même. Le terme allemand Bewusstsein… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Conscience — • The individual, as in him customary rules acquire ethical character by the recognition of distinct principles and ideals, all tending to a final unity or goal, which for the mere evolutionist is left very indeterminate, but for the Christian… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • conscience — CONSCIENCE. s. f. Lumière intérieure, sentiment intérieur par lequel l homme se rend témoignage à luimême du bien et du mal qu il fait. Conscience timorée. Conscience délicate. Conscience scrupuleuse. Conscience tendre. Bonne conscience.… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • conscience — Conscience. s. f. Lumiere interieure, sentiment interieur, par lequel l homme se rend tesmoignage à luy mesme du bien & du mal qu il fait. Conscience honorée conscience delicate. conscience scrupuleuse. conscience tendre. bonne conscience.… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • conscience — Conscience, Dire en sa conscience, Bona fide dicere. A ma conscience, Selon ce que je pense, Ex animi sententia. Homme de bonne conscience, Religiosus. Loyauté et bonne conscience, Religio et fides, B. Une exemplaire d une droite et bonne… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • conscience — con·science adj: exempting persons whose religious beliefs forbid compliance conscience laws, which allow physicians...to refuse to participate in abortions W. J. Curran Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • conscience — early 13c., from O.Fr. conscience conscience, innermost thoughts, desires, intentions; feelings (12c.), from L. conscientia knowledge within oneself, sense of right, a moral sense, from conscientem (nom. consciens), prp. of conscire be (mutually) …   Etymology dictionary

  • conscience — [kän′shəns] n. [OFr < L conscientia, consciousness, moral sense < prp. of conscire < com , with + scire, to know (see SCIENCE): replacing ME inwit, knowledge within] 1. a knowledge or sense of right and wrong, with an urge to do right;… …   English World dictionary

  • conscience — ► NOUN ▪ a person s moral sense of right and wrong, chiefly as it affects their own behaviour. ● in (all) conscience Cf. ↑in conscience DERIVATIVES conscienceless adjective. ORIGIN Latin conscientia knowledge within oneself , from scire to know …   English terms dictionary

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