Conscience clause
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.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • conscience clause — n. a clause in a law exempting those whose religious or moral principles forbid compliance …   English World dictionary

  • conscience clause — conscience ,clause noun count the part of a law or contract that allows people who do not agree with it for moral or religious reasons not to obey it …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Conscience clause — The conscience clause was an important term in education in England throughout much of 19th century. In this context, it referred to permitting parents of schoolchildren to withdraw them from Church of England worship services or other school… …   Wikipedia

  • conscience clause — noun chiefly N. Amer. a clause in a law providing for exemption or other allowances on the grounds of moral or religious conscience …   English new terms dictionary

  • conscience clause — a clause or article in an act or law that exempts persons whose conscientious or religious scruples forbid their compliance. [1865 70] * * * …   Universalium

  • conscience clause — /ˈkɒnʃəns klɔz/ (say konshuhns klawz) noun a clause or article in an act or law or the like, which relieves persons whose conscientious or religious scruples forbid their compliance with it …   Australian English dictionary

  • conscience clause — noun : a clause in a general law exempting persons whose religious scruples forbid compliance therewith (as from taking judicial oaths) …   Useful english dictionary

  • conscience clause — noun (C) a part of a law that says that the law does not have to be obeyed by people who feel that it would be morally wrong to obey it …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • Conscience clause (medical) — This article is about the conscience clause in medicine. For the conscience clause in the 19th century English educational system, see Conscience clause (education). Conscience clauses are clauses in laws in some parts of the United States which… …   Wikipedia

  • Conscience clause (education) — This article is about the conscience clause in 19th century education. For legal conscience clauses relating to certain types of medicine, see Conscience clause (medical). Anglicanism portal The conscience clause was an important term in… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”