from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Having an awareness of one's environment and one's own existence, sensations, and thoughts. See Synonyms at aware.
  • adj. Mentally perceptive or alert; awake: The patient remained fully conscious after the local anesthetic was administered.
  • adj. Capable of thought, will, or perception: the development of conscious life on the planet.
  • adj. Subjectively known or felt: conscious remorse.
  • adj. Intentionally conceived or done; deliberate: a conscious insult; made a conscious effort to speak more clearly.
  • adj. Inwardly attentive or sensible; mindful: was increasingly conscious of being watched.
  • adj. Especially aware of or preoccupied with. Often used in combination: a cost-conscious approach to further development; a health-conscious diet.
  • n. In psychoanalysis, the component of waking awareness perceptible by a person at any given instant; consciousness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. alert, awake.
  • adj. aware.
  • adj. aware of one's own existence; aware of one's own awareness

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Possessing the faculty of knowing one's own thoughts or mental operations.
  • adj. Possessing knowledge, whether by internal, conscious experience or by external observation; cognizant; aware; sensible.
  • adj. Made the object of consciousness; known to one's self.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In the state of a waking as distinguished from that of a sleeping person or an inanimate thing; in the act of feeling, or endowed with feeling, in the broadest sense of the word.
  • Attributing, or capable of attributing, one's sensations, cognitions, etc., to one's self; aware of the unity of self in knowledge; aware of one's self; self-conscious.
  • Having one's feelings directed toward one's self; embarrassed by one's feelings about one's own person, and by the sense of being observed and criticized by others.
  • Present to consciousness; known or perceived as existing in one's self; felt: as, conscious guilt.
  • Aware of an object; perceiving.
  • Aware of an external object: a less correct use of the term: followed in either use by of or that, formerly by to or to one's self that.
  • Aware of some element of character as belonging to one's self.
  • Synonyms To be Sensible or Conscious, etc. (see feel). Aware, Conscious. Aware refers commonly to objects of perception outside of ourselves; conscious, to objects of perception within us: as, to become aware of the presence of a stranger; to be quite aware of the danger of one's situation; to become conscious of a pain in one's eye. Aware indicates perception without feeling; conscious, generally recognition with some degree of feeling.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. knowing and perceiving; having awareness of surroundings and sensations and thoughts
  • adj. intentionally conceived
  • adj. (followed by `of') showing realization or recognition of something


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

From Latin cōnscius : com-, com- + scīre, to know; see skei- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin conscius, itself from con- (a form of com- ("together") + scire ("to know").


  • When we choose to do our duty, we make a conscious choice, and although earlier right action has set up certain nerve co-ordinations which render it now easy to choose the right, yet it must be remembered that _conscious judgment_ is also involved.

    Ontario Normal School Manuals: Science of Education

  • However, whether or not this applies to man in the first stages of his upward climb to the goal of attainment of conscious godhood, it most assuredly applies to those souls who have become aware of their purpose, and who have made a _conscious_ choice of their karma.

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  • Here are the top 20 stories of the year that inspire good sex, which we define as conscious and conscientious sexual impulses resulting in consensual activity that positively impacts our communities, our relationships, and ourselves.

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  • As a telemarketing Sales Wolf, my conscious is always clear.

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  • Under this view we are all what he terms conscious automata, or machines which happen, as it were by chance, to be conscious of some of their own movements.

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  • The drug they gave me for the procedure, Versed, is what they refer to as conscious sedation or "twilight sleep" but apparently I was not conscious at all - and I defintely wasn't oriented!

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  • Hell, part of the reason why I'm environmentally conscious is BECAUSE I've traveled.

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  • But the difference is also rooted in conscious policy decisions.

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  • The property of being about or directed toward a subject, as inherent in conscious states, beliefs, or creations of the mind, such as sentences or books.

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  • The grounds for the charge were primarily Mr. Liu's support for Charter 08, a citizens 'manifesto that was conceived in conscious admiration of Charter 77 in the former Czechoslovakia and published in December 2008 to mark the 60th anniversary of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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  • I hate it when people use this word when they mean conscience.

    March 8, 2012