• IPA: /kɒnʃəns/


  1. The moral sense of right and wrong, chiefly as it affects one's own behaviour.
    Your conscience is your highest authority.
    • 1949, Albert Einstein, as quoted by Virgil Henshaw in Albert Einstein: Philosopher Scientist,
      Never do anything against conscience, even if the state demands it.
    • 1951, Isaac Asimov, Foundation (1974 Panther Books Ltd publication), part V: “The Merchant Princes”, chapter 14, page 175, ¶ 7
      [“]Twer is not a friend of mine testifying against me reluctantly and for conscience’ sake, as the prosecution would have you believe. He is a spy, performing his paid job.[”]
  2. (chiefly fiction, narratology) A personification of the moral sense of right and wrong, usually in the form of a person, a being or merely a voice that gives moral lessons and advices.
  3. (obsolete) Consciousness; thinking; awareness, especially self-awareness.
    • 1603, William Shakespeare, Hamlet, act 3, scene 1,
      Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
      And thus the native hue of resolution
      Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought.
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