consciousness

noun
con·​scious·​ness | \ ˈkän(t)-shəs-nəs How to pronounce consciousness (audio) \

Definition of consciousness

1a : the quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself
b : the state or fact of being conscious of an external object, state, or fact
c : awareness especially : concern for some social or political cause The organization aims to raise the political consciousness of teenagers.
2 : the state of being characterized by sensation, emotion, volition, and thought : mind
3 : the totality of conscious states of an individual
4 : the normal state of conscious life regained consciousness
5 : the upper level of mental life of which the person is aware as contrasted with unconscious processes

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Examples of consciousness in a Sentence

The medication caused her to enter an altered state of consciousness. The events have become part of the national consciousness. He hopes that he can raise public consciousness of the disease.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Beauty Awards 2019 23 Slides In recent years, there’s been a seismic shift in our collective beauty consciousness—we’re scanning ingredient lists, hunting for organic alternatives, and prioritizing sustainable packaging more than ever before. Glamour, "Beauty Awards: The 23 Best Natural Beauty Products of 2018," 25 Mar. 2019 In addition to being time prohibitive for a new mom, there are also potential side effects, including headaches, dizziness, excessive sleepiness, and sudden loss of consciousness. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "The FDA Has Approved the First Postpartum Depression Drug—And It’s a Game-Changer," 20 Mar. 2019 Of course, becoming aware of consciousness, either in a dream or reality, can be unsettling, too. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Is Lucid Dreaming? Your Guide to Exploring Your Subconscious," 18 Sep. 2018 And there isn’t a separate thing of consciousness but rather information is what’s real. Eric Johnson, Recode, "If you can quit social media, but don’t, then you’re part of the problem, Jaron Lanier says," 27 July 2018 Close-ups of French friends jostle alongside wide-screen landscapes; little notes and arrows carry us along Thompson’s stream-of-consciousness; there’s a page on how to wind a turban, complete with steps. New York Times, "A Youthful, Lovesick Journey Revealed in a Sketchbook," 6 July 2018 It has been reported that 9.3% of the concussions involved loss of consciousness and 2.4% of the concussions resulted in hospitalization. Brian Resnick, Vox, "What a lifetime of playing football can do to the human brain," 4 Feb. 2019 With LanCaster losing consciousness in the dwindling oxygen supply and getting thrashed by fierce winds, the crew feared the worst outcome. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "8 Emergency Landings That Rival the 'Miracle on the Hudson'," 15 Jan. 2019 The ugly brutality of the former and the winking self-consciousness of the latter have both run their course. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "The Artfully Made Hereditary Is the Latest Horror Film to Elevate the Genre," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'consciousness.' 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 consciousness

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for consciousness

see conscious entry 1

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Learn More about consciousness

Statistics for consciousness

Last Updated

15 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for consciousness

The first known use of consciousness was in 1605

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More Definitions for consciousness

consciousness

noun

English Language Learners Definition of consciousness

: the condition of being conscious : the normal state of being awake and able to understand what is happening around you
: a person's mind and thoughts
: knowledge that is shared by a group of people

consciousness

noun
con·​scious·​ness | \ ˈkän-shəs-nəs How to pronounce consciousness (audio) \

Kids Definition of consciousness

1 : the condition of being mentally awake and active Following surgery, she slowly regained consciousness.
2 : the part of the mind involving thought and awareness The memory is preserved in my consciousness.
3 : knowledge of something specified News reports raised consciousness of the problem.

consciousness

noun
con·​scious·​ness | \ ˈkän-chə-snəs How to pronounce consciousness (audio) \

Medical Definition of consciousness

1 : the totality in psychology of sensations, perceptions, ideas, attitudes, and feelings of which an individual or a group is aware at any given time or within a given time span altered states of consciousness, such as sleep, dreaming and hypnosis— Bob Gaines
2 : waking life (as that to which one returns after sleep, trance, or fever) in which one's normal mental powers are present the ether wore off and the patient regained consciousness
3 : the upper part of mental life of which the person is aware as contrasted with unconscious processes

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