con·​sci·​en·​tious | \ ˌkän(t)-shē-ˈen(t)-shəs How to pronounce conscientious (audio) \

Definition of conscientious

1 : meticulous, careful a conscientious listener
2 : governed by or conforming to the dictates of conscience : scrupulous a conscientious public servant

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Other Words from conscientious

conscientiously adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for conscientious

upright, honest, just, conscientious, scrupulous, honorable mean having or showing a strict regard for what is morally right. upright implies a strict adherence to moral principles. a stern and upright minister honest stresses adherence to such virtues as truthfulness, candor, or fairness. known for being honest in business dealings just stresses conscious choice and regular practice of what is right or equitable. workers given just compensation conscientious and scrupulous imply an active moral sense governing all one's actions and painstaking efforts to follow one's conscience. conscientious in the completion of her assignments scrupulous in carrying out the terms of the will honorable suggests a firm holding to codes of right behavior and the guidance of a high sense of honor and duty. a difficult but honorable decision

Did You Know?

According to American writer and editor H.L. Mencken, "Conscience is the inner voice which warns us someone may be looking." A person who is conscientious makes sure that if others are watching, they like what they see. "Conscience" and "conscientious" both come from the Latin verb conscire, a word that means "to be conscious" or "to be conscious of guilt" and that traces back to a still older Latin word, scire, meaning "to know."

Examples of conscientious in a Sentence

He was a good friend to his comrades, a conscientious leader mindful of his men's needs; an upright family man with strong, bright, proud children … — Tom Clancy, Without Remorse, 1994 Because Puckett was a conscientious lieutenant … his men did not have to stint on their fire. He had made sure that every man was carrying a basic load of ammunition and then some to spare … — Neil Sheehan, A Bright Shining Lie, 1988 He was shifty about money matters, not conscientious about returning advances, fulfilling contracts, reading manuscripts. — Monroe K. Spears, American Ambitions, 1987 She has always been a very conscientious worker. He was conscientious about following the doctor's orders.
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Recent Examples on the Web Not many White House officials would turn down an opportunity to go one-on-one with the president; not many are so conscientious. The Economist, "Running with Samantha Power," 27 Sep. 2019 The researchers suggest that high-complexity jobs, which require creative problem solving, aren't necessarily a great match for highly conscientious people who want structure and predictability in their work. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Conscientiousness may matter less if you’re a lawyer than if you’re in sales," 30 Oct. 2019 Good, conscientious people can make those sorts of errors. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "Flying is a big part of life in Alaska. We all have a role in ensuring safety comes first.," 26 Oct. 2019 Warm, conscientious people trying to get the details right so others feel loved and respected. Carolyn Hax, oregonlive, "Carolyn Hax: He’s got a massive cache of TV shows he wants to watch, but wife keeps putting him off," 11 Oct. 2019 Warm, conscientious people trying to get the details right so others feel loved and respected. Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax: Honey, we need to talk. I’m seeing another TV show.," 11 Oct. 2019 That forced a lot of labels to switch to brokers and European manufacturers who are not as conscientious about being compliant with industry standards for receipt-of-goods specifications. Ed Christman, Billboard, "'An Endless Fiasco': Indie Retailers Describe Worsening Breakdown in Getting CDs, Vinyl Delivered to Record Stores," 16 July 2019 Now, five Supreme Court Justices, presumably more staid, more conscientious, and more rational than the President, have aided him in that cause. Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, "The Supreme Court Just Legitimized a Cornerstone Element of Voter Suppression," 3 July 2019 Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, has been praised for making such a conscientious, worker-friendly decision. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "Amazon’s Wage Boost Creates More Pain for Competition," 3 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conscientious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of conscientious

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for conscientious

see conscience

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The first known use of conscientious was in 1603

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Last Updated

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Conscientious.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for conscientious


How to pronounce conscientious (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of conscientious

: very careful about doing what you are supposed to do : concerned with doing something correctly


con·​sci·​en·​tious | \ ˌkän-shē-ˈen-shəs How to pronounce conscientious (audio) \

Kids Definition of conscientious

1 : guided by or agreeing with a sense of doing what is right No conscientious person would stand for such unfair actions.
2 : using or done with care conscientious teachers conscientious efforts

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Comments on conscientious

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