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

NDEs reflected three of these components related to perception and consciousness, religion and ceremony, disease state, and drug preparation. Robert Martone, Scientific American, "New Clues Found in Understanding Near-Death Experiences," 10 Sep. 2019 Sierra soon became ill, started throwing up and lost consciousness before dying on Aug. 27. Harriet Sokmensuer,, "Boyfriend of Accused Mom Is Also Arrested in Case of 5-Year-Old Girl Found Decaying in Closet," 9 Sep. 2019 According to right fielder Josh Reddick, Springer never lost consciousness and was able to answer all questions from trainer Jeremiah Randall. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros' George Springer to miss 'a few games' after being diagnosed with mild concussion," 5 Sep. 2019 In November 2009, Vaval was accused of failing to seek medical treatment after the boy apparently suffered a seizure and, in another incident, lost consciousness after hitting his head in the bathroom. Jeremy Gorner,, "Two Chicago police officers were accused of child abuse. A decade later, they’ve been fired.," 26 Aug. 2019 Lowenstein suggested his client could have fallen asleep at the wheel or lost consciousness. Julia Sclafani, Daily Pilot, "Man charged with murder in death of Costa Mesa fire captain had 7 substances in his blood, expert testifies," 22 Aug. 2019 The driver of the motorcycle was reported as conscious, but then lost consciousness. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A motorcyclist died in a single-vehicle accident in Racine County," 11 Aug. 2019 One student was beaten so badly lost consciousness. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "On split vote, JCPS board votes to remove cops from schools," 6 Aug. 2019 In the ambulance, the Washington Post said, Dadashev lost consciousness. Reuters, The Mercury News, "Boxer Maxim Dadashev dies after first loss of his career," 23 July 2019

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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Statistics for consciousness

Last Updated

18 Sep 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



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


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.


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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Comments on consciousness

What made you want to look up consciousness? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

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