non·​con·​scious ˌnän-ˈkän(t)-shəs How to pronounce nonconscious (audio)
: not conscious : unconscious
a nonconscious mental process
nonconscious biases
nonconsciously adverb
nonconsciousness noun

Examples of nonconscious in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Critics could argue that each of the behaviors described earlier could also be programmed into a nonconscious robot. Lars Chittka, Scientific American, 14 June 2023 Recent research suggests that people do not fear the holes; rather, images of clustered holes, which share basic visual characteristics with venomous organisms, lead to nonconscious fear. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 8 Aug. 2017 But the sort of nonconscious ambivalence revealed by our research does not seem pathological. Vivian Zayas and Yuichi Shoda, Discover Magazine, 18 Feb. 2019 This discomfort seemed to be related to the typical visual characteristics and pattern properties of trypophobic stimuli rather than to nonconscious associations with venomous animals. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 8 Aug. 2017 Blaming a nonsentient and nonconscious entity like a virus for our woes isn't very satisfying. Damon Linker, The Week, 7 Jan. 2022 As the thinking goes, these nonconscious prejudices and stereotypes are spontaneously and automatically activated and may inadvertently affect how white Americans see and treat Black people and other people of color. Tiffany L. Green, Scientific American, 28 Aug. 2020 Separating conscious fear from nonconscious threat processing from the start would avoid such confusion. Dean Mobbs, Scientific American, 20 Sep. 2019 Both people are highly likely to obsess over their sunk cost — law school tuition and time served for the lawyer, the original investment amount for the stock picker — in a nonconscious desire to justify their earlier decisions. Gary Belsky, New York Times, 25 Mar. 2016

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nonconscious.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1874, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nonconscious was in 1874

Dictionary Entries Near nonconscious

Cite this Entry

“Nonconscious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition


non·​con·​scious (ˈ)nän-ˈkän-chəs How to pronounce nonconscious (audio)
: not conscious
nonconscious psychic processesA. A. Brill
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