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 Regardless, this is a time to be conscientious about social distancing at 6 feet and practicing good self-hygiene -- washing hands (the right way) at every opportunity and not touching your face. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Do you wear contact lenses? You should switch to glasses to stop spreading the virus," 27 Mar. 2020 Yet, as college campuses across the country close down and require students to leave, even the most conscientious young adults face a difficult choice. John Buysse, Fortune, "Young people are getting extremely sick from coronavirus, according to new evidence," 19 Mar. 2020 There is no ban on small, conscientious groups of people gathering. oregonlive, "Sheila Hamilton: The tricks to working from home," 15 Mar. 2020 Each frame focusses on just one individual, or maybe two—but their hands’ focussed, conscientious actions express a collective caution, and a collective care. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "The Anxious Hands of New York’s Subway Riders in the Face of the Coronavirus," 14 Mar. 2020 To reject the labor deal in front of them would take a large, collective force of conscientious players – not the historical hallmark of NFL players – to face up to serious fears while holding out hope for a better deal. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: We're at two-minute warning, and if NFL players reject labor deal, doomsday looms," 9 Mar. 2020 The burden is on us as a nation to make conscientious investments. Jessica Sagers, STAT, "Coronavirus spending: an expense — or an investment?," 5 Mar. 2020 In published reports and public appearances, William comes across as a diligent, deliberate, conscientious upholder who respects tradition and leans toward incremental change. Sam Walker, WSJ, "Two Princes: Would You Rather Work for William or Harry?," 24 Jan. 2020 Just a great guy to have around the program, a really good student, really conscientious about everything around. Fletcher Page,, "UC notes: Bearcats enter pivotal AAC stretch, Zach Harvey emerges, Toyambi update," 21 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for conscientious

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The first known use of conscientious was in 1603

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Last Updated

10 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Conscientious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2020.

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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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