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adjective con·scious \ˈkän(t)-shəs\

: awake and able to understand what is happening around you

: aware of something (such as a fact or feeling) : knowing that something exists or is happening

: known or felt by yourself

Full Definition of CONSCIOUS

:  perceiving, apprehending, or noticing with a degree of controlled thought or observation <conscious of having succeeded> <was conscious that someone was watching>
archaic :  sharing another's knowledge or awareness of an inward state or outward fact
:  personally felt <conscious guilt>
:  capable of or marked by thought, will, design, or perception
:  having mental faculties not dulled by sleep, faintness, or stupor :  awake <became conscious after the anesthesia wore off>
:  done or acting with critical awareness <a conscious effort to do better>
a :  likely to notice, consider, or appraise <a bargain-conscious shopper>
b :  being concerned or interested <a budget-conscious businessman>
c :  marked by strong feelings or notions <a race-conscious society>
con·scious·ly adverb

Examples of CONSCIOUS

  1. Is the patient conscious yet?
  2. He was fully conscious when we found him.
  3. the capacity for conscious thought
  4. The chances of being admitted conscious to a hospital without being pressed to produce a living will, have become virtually nil … —Joan Didion, New York Review of Books, 9 June 2005


Latin conscius, from com- + scire to know
First Known Use: 1592

Synonym Discussion of CONSCIOUS

aware, cognizant, conscious, sensible, alive, awake mean having knowledge of something. aware implies vigilance in observing or alertness in drawing inferences from what one experiences <aware of changes in climate>. cognizant implies having special or certain knowledge as from firsthand sources <not fully cognizant of the facts>. conscious implies that one is focusing one's attention on something or is even preoccupied by it <conscious that my heart was pounding>. sensible implies direct or intuitive perceiving especially of intangibles or of emotional states or qualities <sensible of a teacher's influence>. alive adds to sensible the implication of acute sensitivity to something <alive to the thrill of danger>. awake implies that one has become alive to something and is on the alert <a country always awake to the threat of invasion>.

Other Psychology Terms

fetish, hypochondria, intelligence, mania, narcissism, neurosis, pathological, psychosis, schadenfreude, subliminal


noun con·scious \ˈkän(t)-shəs\

Definition of CONSCIOUS

Examples of CONSCIOUS

  1. For myself, ever since 1922, when I saw my first picture, films have been barreling through my conscious to my unconscious, but insofar as they remain in my conscious, they get themselves arranged in hierarchies of value and, more important, affection. —Stanley Kauffmann, Before My Eyes, (1974) 1980


(see 1conscious)
First Known Use: 1919

Other Psychology Terms

fetish, hypochondria, intelligence, mania, narcissism, neurosis, pathological, psychosis, schadenfreude, subliminal
CONSCIOUS Defined for Kids


adjective con·scious \ˈkän-shəs\

Definition of CONSCIOUS for Kids

:  aware of facts, feelings, or some particular condition or situation <He … was painfully conscious of his many missing buttons. — J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit>
:  known or felt by a person's inner self <conscious guilt>
:  mentally awake or active <He remained conscious following the accident.>
:  intentional <I made a conscious effort to be polite.>
con·scious·ly adverb

Word Root of CONSCIOUS

The Latin word scīre, meaning to know or to understand, gives us the root sci. Words from the Latin scīre have something to do with knowing or understanding. Science is the understanding of the world and how everything in it works. A person's conscience is the knowledge of right and wrong and the feeling that he or she should do right. Anything that is conscious knows what it is feeling.


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